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by the 







THE cover 'of this volume bears a representation of the 
arms of the Duchy of Lancaster, Pickering belonging to 
that royal property. The shield is in proper colours, and 
on each side of the arms a halbert is represented. It is 
drawn from one of those formerly carried by two free- 
holders of Duchy land when the proclamation was read 
at the opening of markets. 

All rights reserved 



of an ENGLISH 

*Being the story of the 
ancient town of ? * 
Yorkshire from Pre- 
historic times up to 
the year of our Lord 
Nineteen Hundred & 5 









original suggestion that I should undertake 
.A this task came from the Vicar of Pickering, and 
it is due to his co-operation and to the great 
help received from Dr John L. Kirk that this 
history has attained its present form. But beyond this 
I have had most valuable assistance from so many 
people in Pickering and the villages round about, that 
to mention them all would almost entail reprinting the 
local directory. I would therefore ask all those people 
who so kindly put themselves to great trouble and 
who gave up much time in order to help me, to 
consider that they have contributed very materially 
towards the compilation of this record. 

Beyond those who live in the neighbourhood of 
Pickering, I am particularly indebted to Mr Richard 
Blakeborough for his kind help and the use of his 
invaluable collection of Yorkshire folklore. Mr 
Blakeborough was keen on collecting the old stories 
of hobs, wraithes and witches just long enough ago to 
be able to tap the memories of many old people who 
are no longer with us, and thus his collection is now of 
great value. Nearly ail the folklore stories I am able 
to give, are those saved from oblivion in this way. 

I have also had much help from Mr J. Romilly 


viii Preface 

Allen and from Mr T. M. Fallow of Coatham, 
who very generously gave his aid in deciphering 
some of the older records of Pickering. 

To Professor Percy F. Kendall who so kindly 
gave me permission to reproduce his map showing the 
Vale of Pickering during the Glacial Epoch, as well as 
other valuable help, I am also greatly indebted ; and I 
have to thank Professor W. Boyd Dawkins for his 
kindness in reading some of the proofs, and for giving 
valuable suggestions. 


EPSOM, May 1905, 



PREFACE. . . . . *'/ . vii 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS . . . . . . xiii 

INTRODUCTION . . ? . . t xvii 





GLACIAL TIMES . . . . . .12 





AND VALE OF PICKERING, B.C. 55 TO A.D. 418 . -53 









A.D. 1154 TO 1485 * . . . , 103 







PRESENT DAY, A.D. 1837 TO 1905 . . .- 250 

Contents xi 




OF PICKERING ...... 262 





INDEX . . 295 


Having always considered footnotes an objectionable feature, I have 
resorted to them solely for reference purposes. Therefore, the reader who 
does not wish to look up my authorities need not take the slightest notice 
of the references to the footnotes, which in no case contain additional facts, 
but merely indications of the sources of information. 


PICKERING CHURCH FROM HALL GARTH (Coloured) . . Frontispiece 




KIRKDALE CAVE . * ' . , . . 13 

HYENAS' JAWS . . . . . . 15 

ELEPHANTS' TEETH . , . . . 16 

BEAR'S TUSK . . . . , .17 


NEWTONDALE IN ICE AGE . . . Facing page 24 


SCAMRIDGE DYKES . . . . ,31 





SKELETON OF BRONZE AGE . . . Facing page 46 

A QUERN . . . . , . . 48 

URNS IN PICKERING MUSEUM . . . Facing page 50 





xiv List of Illustrations 

















THOMAS A BECKET - . . 128 




SANCTUS BELL . . . . . . . 134 

CATTLE MARKS . . ." . . . 137, 138 






List of Illustrations xv 






MAGIC CUBES . . . . . , .198 


RELICS OF WITCHCRAFT . , . . . . 209 

A LOVE GARTER . . . . . .219 





RIDING T' FAIR . . . . ; Facing page 250 

HALBERT AND SPETUM . . . . . . 251 

OLD KEY OF CASTLE . " . . . . 253 

PICKERING SHAMBLES . . , ..- . . . 254 


LOCKTON VILLAGE * . . . . . 268 


HUTTON BUSCEL CHURCH . . . . . . 28l 



EVERY preface in olden time was wont to begin 
with the address " Lectori Benevolo " the 
indulgence of the reader being thereby invoked 
and, it was hoped, assured. In that the writer of this at 
least would have his share, even though neither subject, 
nor author, that he introduces, may stand in need of 
such a shield. 

Local histories are yearly becoming more numerous. 
In few places is there more justification for one than 

I. The beauty of the scenery is not well known. 
This book should do something to vindicate its char- 
acter. There is no need on this point to go back to 
the time of George III.'s conversation at the levee with 
Mrs Pickering's grandfather. " I suppose you are going 
back to Yorkshire, Mr Stanhope ? A very ugly 
country, Yorkshire." This was too much for my 
grandfather (the story is told in her own words) 
" We always consider Yorkshire a very picturesque 
country." "What, what, what," said the King, "a 
coalpit a picturesque object ! what, what, what, 
Yorkshire coalpits picturesque ! Yorkshire a picturesque 


xviii Introduction 

country ! " l Only within the last few months one of 
us had a letter refusing to consider a vacant post : the 
reason given being that this was a colliery district. 
There is no pit to be found for miles. Many can, and 
do, walk, cycle, or motor through the Vale. Others, 
who are unable to come and see for themselves, will, 
with the help of Mr Home, be in a better position to 
appreciate at its true worth the charm of the haughs 
and the changing views of the distant Wolds, and of 
the russet brown or purple expanse of the upland 

II. The stranger on a visit, no less the historian 
or antiquary, has till now often been puzzled 
for a clue, and ignorant where to turn for authentic 
data, would he attempt to weave for himself a 
connected idea of the incidents of the past and their 
bearing on the present. There has been no lack of 
material buried in ancient records, or preserved in the 
common oral traditions of the folk: but hitherto no 
coherent account that has been published. Speaking 
for ourselves, we are glad the task of dealing with the 
" raffled hank " of timeworn customs and obscure 
traditions as well as the more easily ascertained facts 
of history is falling to the author's practised pen. 
For the future, at any rate, there should be less 
difficulty in understanding the manner of life and 
method of rule with which past and present generations 
belonging to the Town of Pickering have been content 
to dwell. 

1 " Memoirs of Anna M. W. Pickering." 

Introduction xix 

III. " Foreigners " l are sometimes at a loss to 
understand the peculiar spirit of those who in York, for 
instance, are known as " Moor-enders." This spirit 
shows itself in different ways ; but perhaps in nothing 
so much as the intense attachment of the townsmen to 
their birthplace. This local patriotism is no whit 
behind that to be found in Spain u seldom indeed a 
Spaniard says he is a Spaniard, but speaks of himself 
as being from Seville, Cadiz, or some forgotten town 
in La Mancha, of which he speaks with pride, referring 
to it as " mi tierra." 2 Our readers will learn there 
is some reason for this attachment ; and may, like 
some of us, who tho* born elsewhere claim adoption as 
citizens, fall under the witchery of its spell. 

May the venture to compass these ends succeed, to 
use an old saying, " ez sartin ez t' thorn-bush. " 3 

September 1904. 

E. W. D. 

1 C. R. L. Fletcher in his "History of England " tells us that towns- 
men of the thirteenth century were wont to brand their brethren in all the 
neighbouring towns as ' foreigners." Those we call foreigners, they called 
aliens. The expression itself was made use of not long ago at a meeting of 
the Urban Council. 

2 R. B. Cunninghame Graham, " Hernando de Soto." 

3 It used to be the custom for the parson to collect the tithe by placing a 
branch of thorn in every tenth stook ; he choosing the stocks and sending 
his cart along for them. R. Blakeborough, " Yorkshire Humour and 





Concerning those 'which follow 

" Brother," quod he, " where is now youre dwellyng, 
Another day if that I sholde you seche? " 
This yeman hym answerde, in softe speche: 
" Brother," quod he, " fer in the north contree, 
Where as I hope som tyme I shal thee see." 

The Friar's Talc. Chaucer. 

IN the North Riding of Yorkshire, there is a town of 
such antiquity that its beginnings are lost far away 
in the mists of those times of which no written 
records exist. What this town was originally called, it is 
impossible to say, but since the days of William the 
Norman (a pleasanter sounding name than " the 
Conqueror,") it has been consistently known as Picker- 
ing, although there has always been a tendency to spell 
the name with y's and to abandon the c, thus producing 
the curious-looking result of Pykcryng ; its sound, 
however was the same. 

In his Chronicles, John Stow states on the authority 
of " divers writers " that Pickering was built in the 
year 270 B.C., but I am inclined to think that the 
earliest settlements on the site or in the neighbourhood 
of the present town must have been originated at an 
infinitely earlier period. 

But despite its undisputed antiquity there are many 

4 The Evolution of an English Town 

even in Yorkshire who have never heard of the town, 
and in the south of England it is difficult to find anyone 
who is aware that such a place exists. At Rennes 
during the great military trial there was a Frenchman 
who asked " Who is Dreyfus ? " and we were surprised 
at such ignorance of a name that had been on the lips 
of all France for years, but yet we discover ourselves 
to be astonishingly lacking in the knowledge of our 
own little island and find ourselves asking " why should 
anyone trouble to write a book about a town of which 
so few have even heard ?" But it is often in the out- 
of-the-way places that historical treasures are preserved, 
and it is mainly for this reason and the fact that the 
successive periods of growth are so well demonstrated 
there, that the ancient town of Pickering has been 
selected to illustrate the evolution of an English town. 

I have endeavoured to produce a complete series of 
pictures commencing with the Ice Age and finishing 
at the dawn of the twentieth century. In the earlier 
chapters only a rough outline is possible, but as we 
come down the centuries and the records become more 
numerous and varied, fuller details can be added to 
the pictures of each age, and we may witness how much 
or how little the great series of dynastic, constitutional, 
religious and social changes effected a district that is 
typical of many others in the remoter parts of England. 

Built on sloping ground that rises gently from 
the rich, level pastures of the Vale of Pickering, the 
town has a picturesque and pleasant site. At the top 
of the market-place where the ground becomes much 

Pickering from the North-West. 

The Colour of the Town 7 

steeper stands the church, its grey bulk dominating 
every view. From all over the Vale one can see the 
tall spire, and from due east or west it has a surprising 
way of peeping over the hill tops. It has even been 
suggested that the tower and spire have been a land- 
mark for a very long time, owing to the fact that 
where the hills and formation of the ground do not 
obstruct the view, or make road-making difficult, the 
roads make straight for the spire. 

With few exceptions the walls of the houses are of 
the same weather-beaten limestone as the church and 
the castle, but seen from above the whole town is trans- 
formed into a blaze of red, the curved tiles of the locality 
retaining their brilliant hue for an indefinite period. 
Only a very few thatched roofs remain to-day, but the 
older folks remember when most of the houses were 
covered in that picturesque fashion. 

Pickering has thus lost its original uniform grey- 
ness, relieved here and there by whitewash, and 
presents strong contrasts of colour against the green 
meadows and the masses of trees that crown the hill 
where the castle stands. The ruins, now battered and 
ivy-mantled, are dignified and picturesque and still 
sufficiently complete to convey a clear impression of the 
former character of the fortress, three of the towers at 
angles of the outer walls having still an imposing 
aspect. The grassy mounds and shattered walls of 
the interior would, however, be scarcely recognisable to 
the shade of Richard II. if he were ever to visit the 
scene of his imprisonment. 

8 The Evolution of an English Town 

Since the time of Henry VIII. when Leland de- 
scribed the castle, whole towers and all the interior 
buildings except the chapel have disappeared. The 
chief disasters probably happened before the Civil 
War, although we are told, by one or two eighteenth 
century writers, as an instance of the destruction 
that was wrought, that after the Parliamentary 
forces had occupied the place and "breached the 
walls," great quantities of papers and parchments were 
scattered about Castle-gate, the children being attracted 
to pick them up, many of them bearing gilt letters. 
During the century which has just closed, more damage 
was done to the buildings and in a short time all the 
wooden floors in the towers completely disappeared. 

Stories are told of the Parliamentary troops being 
quartered in Pickering church, and, if this were true, 
we have every reason to bless the coats of whitewash 
which probably hid the wall-paintings from their view. 
The series of fifteenth century pictures that now cover both 
walls of the nave would have proved so very distasteful 
to the puritan soldiery that it is impossible to believe 
that they could have tolerated their existence, especially 
when we find it recorded that the font was smashed 
and the large prayer-book torn to pieces at that time. 

Pickering church has a fascination for the antiquary, 
and does not fail to impress even the most casual 
person who wanders into the churchyard and enters 
the spacious porch. The solemn massiveness of the 
Norman nave, the unusual effect of the coloured paint- 
ings above the arches, and the carved stone effigies of 

Rosamund Tower. Pickering Castle 

Links with the Past 1 1 

knights whose names are almost forgotten, carry one 
away from the familiar impressions of a present-day 
Yorkshire town, and almost suggest that one is living 
in mediaeval times. One can wander, too, on the 
moors a few miles to the north and see heather stretch- 
ing away to the most distant horizon and feel that 
there, also, are scenes which have been identically the 
same for many centuries. The men of the Neolithic 
and Bronze Ages may have swept their eyes over land- 
scapes so similar that they would find the moorlands 
quite as they knew them, although they would miss 
the dense forests of the valleys and the lower levels. 

The cottages in the villages are, many of them, 
of great age, and most of them have been the 
silent witnesses of innumerable superstitious rites 
and customs. When one thoroughly realises the 
degrading character of the beliefs that so powerfully 
swayed the lives of the villagers and moorland-folk 
of this district, as late as the first twenty years of 
the nineteenth century, one can only rejoice that 
influences arose sufficiently powerful to destroy them. 
Along with the revolting practises, however, it is 
extremely unfortunate to have to record the disappear- 
ance of many picturesque, and in themselves, entirely 
harmless customs. The roots of the great mass of 
superstitions have their beginnings so far away from 
the present time, that to embrace them all necessitates 
an exploration of all the centuries that lie between us and 
the pre-historic ages, and in the pages that follow, some 
of these connections with the past may be discovered. 


The Forest and Vale of Pickering in Paleolithic 
and Pre-Glacial Times. 

The Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age preceded and 
succeeded the Great Glacial Epochs in the Glacialid. 

IN that distant period of the history of the human 
race when man was still so primitive in his habits 
that traces of his handiwork are exceedingly 
difficult to discover, the forest and Vale of Pickering 
seem to have been without human inhabitants. Re- 
mains of this Old Stone Age have been found in many 
parts of England, but they are all south of a line drawn 
from Lincoln to Derbyshire and North Wales. In 
the caves at Cresswell Craggs in Derbyshire notable 
Palaeolithic discoveries were made, but for some reason 
these savage hordes seem to have come no further 
north than that spot. We know, however, that many 
animals belonging to the pre-glacial period struggled for 
their existence in the neighbourhood of Pickering. 

It was during the summer of 1821 that the 
famous cave at Kirkdale was discovered, and the bones 
of twenty-two different species of animals were brought 
to light. Careful examination showed that the cave 
had for a long time been the haunt of hyaenas of the 
Pleistocene Period, a geological division of time, which 

The Hyaenas' Cave 13 

embraces in its latter part the age of Paleolithic man. 
The spotted hyaena that is now to be found only in 

.X Stra,t4m of -*n,t*4L c*vr*t.*i.a 
f Coo r<rf Cart erzenAAaOn* & a ^,ef 

J* " JttZeZfmite. ******y><frm*2 
fat iJn^f SvrrMal Sc/of* rn^^L J 

A plan and section of Kirkdale Cave. 

Africa, south of the Sahara, 1 was then inhabiting the 
forests of Yorkshire and preying on animals now either 
extinct or only living in tropical climates. The waters 
of Lake Pickering seem to have risen to a sufficiently 

1 Dawkins, W. Boyd. " Early man in Britain," p. 103. 

14 The Evolution of an English Town 

high level at one period to drive out the occupants of 
the cave and to have remained static for long enough 
to allow the accumulation of about a foot of alluvium 
above the bones that littered the floor. By this means 
it appears that the large quantity of broken fragments 
of bones that were recent at the time of the inunda- 
tion were preserved to our own times without any per- 
ceptible signs of decomposition. Quarrying operations 
had been in progress at Kirkdale for some time when 
the mouth of the cave was suddenly laid bare by pure 
accident. The opening was quite small, being less 
than 5 feet square, and as it penetrated the limestone 
hill it varied from 2 to 7 feet in breadth and 
height; the quarrying had also left the opening at a 
considerable height up the perpendicular wall of stone. 
At the present time it is almost inaccessible, and except 
for the interest of seeing the actual site of the dis- 
coveries and the picturesqueness of the spot the cave 
has no great attractions. 

Not long after it was stumbled upon by the quarry- 
men Dr William Buckland went down to Kirkdale, 
and although some careless digging had taken place in 
the outer part of the cave before his arrival, he was able 
to make a most careful and exhaustive examination of 
the undisturbed portions, giving the results of his work 
in a paper read before the Royal Society in I822. 1 
Besides the remains of many hysenas there were teeth 
or bones of such large animals as the elephant, 

1 Buckland, The Rev. Wm. " Account of an assemblage of fossil teeth 
and bones ... at Kirkdale." 

Tropical Animals in Yorkshire 15 

rhinoceros, hippopotamus, horse, tiger, bear, urus (Bos 
primi-genius) an unknown animal of the size of a 
wolf, and three species of deer. The smaller animals 
included the rabbit, water-rat, mouse, raven, pigeon, 
lark and a small type of duck. Everything was 
broken into small pieces 
so that no single skull 
was found entire and it 
was, of course, impos- 
sible to obtain anything 
like a complete skeleton. 
From the fact that the 
bones of the hysenas 
themselves had suffered 
the same treatment as 
the rest we may infer 
that these ferocious lovers 

nf rmtriH flpcVl TirPfP in Jaws of Kirkdale (above) and Modern Hyaena 

01 pUiriQ neSn Were in (b ^ low)> The Kirkdale Hyaenas were evidently 

the habit of devouring much more powerful than the modern ones< 
those of their own species that died a natural death, or 
that possibly under pressure of hunger were inclined 
to kill and eat the weak or diseased members of the 
pack. From other evidences in the cave it is plain 
that its occupants were extremely fond of bones after 
the fashion of the South African hysena. 

Although the existing species have jaws of huge 
strength and these prehistoric hyaenas were probably 
stronger still, it is quite improbable that they ever 
attacked such large animals as elephants ; and the fact 
that the teeth found in the cave were of very young 

[ 6 The Evolution of an English Town 

specimens seems to suggest that the hyaenas now and 
then found the carcase of a young elephant that had 
died, and dragged it piecemeal to their cave. The 
same would possibly apply to some of the other large 
animals, for hyaenas, unless in great extremes of hunger 
never attack a living animal. They have a loud 
and mournful howl, beginning low and ending high, 
and also a maniacal laugh when excited. 

It might be sug- 
gested that the bones 
had accumulated in the 
den through dead bodies 

Teeth of young Elephants found at Kirkdale. of animals being floated 

in during the inundation by the waters of the lake, 
but in that case the remains, owing to the narrowness 
of the mouth of the cave, could only have belonged to 
small animals, and the skeletons would have been more 
or less complete, and there are also evidences on many of 
the bones of their having been broken by teeth precisely 
similar to those of the hyaena. 

We see therefore that in this remote age Britain 
enjoyed a climate which encouraged the existence of 
animals now to be found only in tropical regions, that 
herds of mammoths or straight-tusked elephants 
smashed their way through primaeval forests and that 
the hippopotamus and the woolly or small-nosed 
rhinoceros frequented the moist country at the margin 
of the lake. Packs of wolves howled at night and 
terrorised their prey, and in winter other animals from 
northern parts would come as far south as Yorkshire. 

Extremes of Climate in Yorkshire i 7 

In fact it seems that the northern and southern groups 
of animals in Pleistocene times appeared in this part of 
England at different seasons of the year and the hysenas 
of Kirkdale would, in the opinion of Professor Boyd 
Dawkins, prey upon the reindeer at one time of the 
year and the hippopotamus at another. 

Following this period came a time of intense cold, 
hut the conditions were not so severe as during the 
Great Glacial times. 

Canine tooth or tusk of a 
Kirkdale bear (Ursus s^elzu 


The Vale of Pickering in the Lesser Ice Age 

LONG before even the earliest players took up their 
parts in the great Drama of Human Life which 
has been progressing for so long in this portion 
of England, great changes came about in the aspect of 
the stage. These transformations date from the period 
of Arctic cold, which caused ice of enormous thickness 
to form over the whole of north-western Europe. 

Throughout this momentous age in the history of 
Yorkshire, as far as we can tell, the flaming sunsets 
that dyed the ice and snow with crimson were reflected 
in no human eyes. In those far-ofF times, when the 
sun was younger and his majesty more imposing than 
at the present day, we may imagine a herd of reindeer 
or a solitary bear standing upon some ice-covered height 
and staring wonderingly at the blood-red globe as it 
neared the horizon. The tremendous silence that 
brooded over the face of the land was seldom broken save 
by the roar of the torrents, the reverberating boom of 
splitting ice, or the whistling and shrieking of the 

The evidences in favour of this glacial period 
are too apparent to allow of any contradiction; but 
although geologists agree as to its existence, they do 

Glacier Streams near Pickering 19 

not find it easy to absolutely determine its date or its 

CrolPs theory of the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit l 
as the chief factor in the great changes of the Earth's 
climate has now been to a great extent abandoned, 
and the approximate date of the Glacial Epoch of 
between 240,000 and 80,000 years ago is thus corre- 
spondingly discredited by many geologists. Professor 
Kendall inclines to the belief that not more than 
25,000 years have elapsed since the departure of the 
ice from Yorkshire, the freshness of all the traces of 
glaciation being incompatible with a long period of 
post-glacial time. 

The superficial alterations in the appearance of 
these parts of Yorkshire were brought about by the 
huge glaciers which, at that time, choked up most of 
the valleys and spread themselves over the watersheds 
of the land. 

In the warmer seasons of the year, when the Arctic 
cold relaxed to some extent, fierce torrents would rush 
down every available depression, sweeping along great 
quantities of detritus and boulders sawn off and 
carried sometimes for great distances by the slow- 
moving glaciers. The grinding, tearing and cannon- 
ading of these streams cut out courses for themselves 
wherever they went. In some cases the stream would 
occupy an existing hollow or old water-course, 
deepening and widening it, but in many instances 
where the ice blocked a valley the water would form 

1 "Climate and Time." James Croll, 1889. 

20 The Evolution of an English Town 

lakes along the edge of the glacier, and overflowing 
across a succession of hill shoulders, would cut deep 
notches on the rocky slopes. 

Owing to the careful work of Mr C. E. Fox- 
Strangways and of Professor Percy F. Kendall, we are 
able to tell, almost down to details, what took place in 
the Vale of Pickering and on the adjacent hills during 
this period. 

In the map reproduced here we can see the limits 
of the ice during the period of its greatest extension. 
The great ice-sheet of the North Sea had jammed 
itself along the Yorkshire coast, covering the lower hills 
with glaciers, thus preventing the natural drainage of 
the ice-free country inland. The Derwent carrying off 
the water from some of these hills found its outlet 
gradually blocked by the advancing lobe of a glacier, 
and the water having accumulated into a lake (named 
after Hackness in the map), overflowed along the edge 
of the ice into the broad alluvial plain now called the 
Vale of Pickering. Up to a considerable height, 
probably about 200 feet, the drainage of the Derwent 
and the other streams flowing into the Vale was 
imprisoned, and thus Pickering Lake was formed. 

The boulder clay at the seaward end of the Vale 
seems to have been capped by ice of a thickness of 
nearly 100 feet which efficiently contained the waters 
of the lake until they overflowed through a depression 
among the hills to the south of Malton. If the waters 
escaped by any other outlet to the west near Gilling 
and Coxwold, it can scarcely have been more than a 

The Overflow of the Lake 23 

temporary affair compared to the overflow that pro- 
duced the gorge at Kirkham Abbey, as the Gilling Gap 
was itself closed by the great glacier descending the 
Vale of York. The overflow of the lake by this route, 
south of Malton, must have worn a channel down to a 
lower level than 130 feet o.D. before the ice retreated 
from the seaward end of the Vale, otherwise the escape 
would have taken place over the low hills blocking the 
valley in that direction and the normal course of the 
drainage of the country would have been resumed. 
The southern overflow evidently dug its way through the 
hills fast enough to maintain that outlet, and at the present 
time the narrow gorge at Kirkham Abbey is only 50 feet 
above sea level, and the hills through which the Derwent 
passes at this point are from 200 to 225 feet high. 

As the waters of the lake gradually drained away, 
the Vale was left in a marshy state until the rivers 
gradually formed channels for themselves. In recent 
times drainage canals have been cut and the streams 
embanked, so that there is little to remind one of the 
existence of the lake save for the hamlet still known as 
The Marishes. The name is quite obviously a corrup- 
tion of marshes, for this form is still in use in these 
parts, but it is interesting to know that Milton spelt 
the word in the same way as the name of this village, 
and in Ezekiel xlvii. 1 1 we find : " But the miry 
places thereof, and the marishes thereof, shall not be 
healed." The ease with which a lake could again 
be formed in the Vale was demonstrated in October 
1903 after the phenomenally wet summer and autumn 

24 The Evolution of an English Town 

of that year, by a flood that covered the fields for 
miles and in several places half submerged the hedges 
and washed away the corn stocks. 

The evidence in favour of the existence of Lake 
Pickering is so ample that, according to Professor 
Kendall, it may be placed " among the well-established 
facts of glacial geology." l 

We have thus an accredited explanation for the 
extraordinary behaviour of the river Derwent and its 
tributaries, including practically the whole of the 
drainage south of the Esk, which instead of taking the 
obviously simple and direct course to the sea, flow in the 
opposite direction to the slope of the rocks and the 
grain of the country. After passing through the 
ravine at Kirkham Abbey the stream eventually mingles 
with the Ouse, and thus finds its way to the Humber. 

The splendid canon to the north of Pickering, 
known as Newton Dale, with its precipitous sides rising 
to a height of 300 or even 400 feet, must have assumed 
its present proportions principally during the glacial period 
when it formed an overflow valley from a lake held up 
by ice in the neighbourhood of Fen Bogs and Eller Beck. 
This great gorge is tenanted at the present time by Picker- 
ing Beck, an exceedingly small stream, which now carries 
off all the surface drainage and must therefore be only 
remotely related to its great precursor that carved this 
enormous trench out of the limestone tableland. Com- 
pared to the torrential rushes of water carrying along 

1 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. Iviii. part 3, No. 231, 
p. 501. 




, AT 




The overflow of the .glacier dammed lakes at the head of the dale came down Newton Dale 
and poured in to Lake Pickering. 

Ice Action in Newton Dale 25 

huge quantities of gravel and boulders that must 
have flowed from the lake at the upper end, Newton 
Dale can almost be considered a dry and abandoned 

At Fen Bogs, where there is a great depth of peat, 
Professor Kendall has discovered that if it were cleared 
out, " the channel through the watershed would appear 
as a clean cut, 75 feet deep." The results of the 
gouging operations of this glacier stream are further in 
evidence where the valley enters the Vale of Pickering, 
for at that point a great delta was formed. This fan- 
shaped accumulation of bouldery gravel is marked in 
the geological survey maps as covering a space of about 
two square miles south of Pickering, but the deposit is 
probably much larger, for Dr Thornton Comber states 
that the gravel extends all the way to Riseborough 
and is found about 6 feet below the surface, every- 
where digging has taken place in that direction. The 
delta is partly composed of rounded stones about 2 
feet in diameter. These generally belong to the hard 
gritstone of the moors through which Newton Dale 
has been carved. Dr Comber also mentioned the 
discovery of a whinstone from the great Cleveland 
Dyke, composed of basaltic rock, that traverses the 
hills near Egton and Sleights Moor, two miles above 
the intake of Newton Dale at Fen Bogs. 

The existence of this gravel as far towards the 
west as Riseborough, suggests that the delta is really 
of much greater magnitude than that indicated in the 
survey map. It has also been proved that Newton 

26 The Evolution of an English Town 

Dale ceased its functions as a lake overflow, through 
the retreat of the ice-sheet above Eskdale long before 
the Glacial Period terminated, and this would suggest 
an explanation for the layer of Warp (an alluvial 

Diagrammatic view showing the presumed position of the ice at the eastern end of the Vale of 
Pickering during the Lesser Glacial epoch. The river Derwent is shown overflowing along the 
edge of the glacier. 

deposit of turbid lake waters) which partially covers 
the delta. The fierce torrents that poured into Lake 
Pickering down the steep gradient of this canon would 
require an exit of equal proportions, and it seems reason- 
able to suppose that the gorge at Kirkham Abbey was 
chiefly worn at the same time as Newton Dale. 

Another delta was formed by the upper course of 

The Danes and Lake Pickering 27 

the Derwent to which I have already alluded. In 
this instance, the water flowed along the edge of the 
ice and cut out a shelf on the hill slopes near Hutton 
Buscel, and the detritus was carried to the front of the 
glacier. This deposit terminates in a crescent-shape 
and now forms the slightly elevated ground upon 
which Wykeham Abbey stands. The Norse word 
Wyke or Vik means a creek or bay, and the fact that 
such a name was given to this spot would suggest that 
the Vale was more than marshy in Danish times, and 
perhaps it even contained enough water to float shallow 
draught boats. Flotmanby is another suggestive name 
occurring at the eastern corner of the lake about four 
miles from Filey. In modern Danish flotman means 
a waterman or ferryman, and as there is, and was then, 
no river near Flotmanby, there is ground for believing 
that the Danes who settled at this spot found it 
necessary to ferry across the corner of the lake. Before 
the Glacial Period, the Vale of Pickering was beyond 
doubt from 100-150 feet deeper at the seaward end 
than at the present time, and even as far up the Valley 
as Mai ton the rock floor beneath the deposit of 
Kimeridge clay is below the level of the sea. 


The Early Inhabitants of the Forest and Vale of 


Almighty wisdom made the land 
Subject to man's disturbing hand, 
And left it all for him to fill 
With marks of his ambitious will. . 

Urgent and masterful ashore, 
Man dreams and plans, 

And more and more, 
As ages slip away, Earth shows 
How need by satisfaction grows, 
And more and more its patient face 
Mirrors the driving human race. 

Edward Sanaford Martin* 


Succeeded the Old Stone Age and overlapped the Bronze Age. 


Succeeded the New Stone Age and overlapped the Early Iron 


Succeeded the Bronze Age and continued in Britain until the 
Roman Invasion in B.C. 54. 

{All these periods overlapped.} 

THE Palaeolithic men had reached England when 
it was part of the continent of Europe, but after 
the lesser Glacial Period had driven the hairy 
savages southwards a slow earth movement produced 


The Coming of the Neolithic Men 29 

what is now the English Channel and Britain was 
isolated. Gradually the cold relaxed and vegetation 
once more became luxuriant, great forests appeared and 
England was again joined to the continent. Possibly 
the more genial climate which began to prevail in this 
country and the northward movement of the reindeer 
brought the first Neolithic men into England, and it 
has been suggested that some of these earlier tribes 
whose implements have been discovered in White Park 
Bay, County Antrim and the Mac Arthur Cave, near 
Oban, form a link between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic 

The culture of the New Stone Age was a huge 
advance upon that of the earlier races, although it is 
more than probable that the higher development 
existed in different parts of the world simultaneously 
with the lower, the more primitive people becoming 
influenced by the more advanced. A wave of great 
progress came with the Iberians of Spain who spread 
across France and reached Britain by means of boats 
at a time when it was probably once more an island. 

Armed with bows and arrows and carefully finished 
stone axes and spears, clothed in skins and wearing 
ornaments of curious coloured stones or pieces of bone 
threaded on thin leathern cords, these Iberians or 
Neolithic men gradually spread all over the British 
Islands. They evidently liked the hills overlooking 
the fresh waters of Lake Pickering for their remains 
have been found there in considerable quantities. 

The hills on all sides of the Vale are studded 

30 The Evolution of an English Town 

with barrows from which great quantities of burial 
urns and skeletons have been exhumed, and wherever 
the land is under cultivation the plough exposes flint 
arrow and spear-heads and stone axes. 

Many of the numerous finds of this nature have 
disappeared in small private collections and out of the 
many barrows that have been explored only in a certain 
number of instances have any accurate records been 
taken. It is thus a somewhat difficult task to discover 
how much or how little of the plunder of the burial 
mounds belongs to the Neolithic and how much to the 
Bronze and later ages. The Neolithic people buried 
in long barrows which are by no means common in 
Yorkshire, but many of the round ones that have been 
thoroughly examined reveal no traces of metal, stone 
implements only being found in them. 1 In Mr Thomas 
Bateman's book, entitled " Ten Years' Diggings," there 
are details of two long barrows, sixty-three circular 
ones, and many others that had been already disturbed, 
which were systematically opened by Mr James Rud- 
dock of Pickering. The fine collection of urns and 
other relics are, Mr Bateman states, in his own posses- 
sion, and are preserved at Lomberdale ; but this was in 
1 86 1, and I have no knowledge of their subsequent 

One of the few long barrows near Pickering, of which 
Canon Greenwell gives a detailed account, is situated 
near the Scamridge Dykes a series of remarkable 
mounds and ditches running for miles along the hills 

1 Greenwell, William. " British Barrows," p. 483. 

Early Entrenchments 3 1 

north of Ebberston. It is highly interesting in con- 
nection with the origin of these extensive entrenchments 
to quote Canon GreenwelFs opinion. He describes 

The Scamridge Dykes above Troutsdale. 

them as " forming part of a great system of fortifica- 
tion, apparently intended to protect from an invading 
body advancing from the east, and presenting many 
features in common with the wold entrenchments on 
the opposite side of the river Derwent. . . ." " The 
adjoining moor," he says, " is thickly sprinkled with 
round barrows, all of which have, at some time or 
other, been opened, with what results I know not; 

3 2 The Evolution of an English Town 

while cultivation has, within the last few years (1877), 
destroyed a large number, the very sites of which can 
now only with great difficulty be distinguished. On 
the surface of the ground flint implements are most 
abundant, and there is probably no place in England 
which has produced more arrow-points, scrapers, 
rubbers, and other stone articles, than the country in 
the neighbourhood of the Scamridge Dykes." The 
doubts as to the antiquity ot the Dykes that have been 
raised need scarcely any stronger refutation, if I may 
venture an opinion, than that they exist in a piece of 
country so thickly strewn with implements of the Stone 
Age. These entrenchments thus seem to point un- 
erringly to the warfare of the early inhabitants ot 
Yorkshire, and there can be little doubt that the Dykes 
were the scene of great intertribal struggles if the loss 
of such infinite quantities of weapons is to be 
adequately accounted for. 

The size and construction of the Scamridge Dykes 
vary from a series of eight or ten parallel ditches and 
mounds deep enough and high enough to completely 
hide a man on horseback, to a single ditch and mound 
barely a foot above and below the ground level. The 
positions of the Dykes can be seen on the sketch map 
accompanying this book, but neither an examination of 
the map nor of the entrenchments themselves gives 
much clue as to their purpose. They do not keep 
always to the hill-tops and in places they appear to run 
into the valleys at right angles to the chief line. Over- 
looking Troutsdale, to the east of Scamridge farm, 

Neolithic Cannibals 33 

where the ground is covered with heather the excava- 
tions seem to have retained their original size, for at 
that point the parallel lines of entrenchments are 
deepest and most numerous. In various places the 
farmers have levelled cart tracks across the obstructions 
and in others they have been almost obliterated by 
ploughing, but as a rule, where cultivation touches them, 
the trenches have come to be boundaries for the fields. 
The Neolithic people were only beginning to 
emerge from a state of absolute savagery, and it is 
possible that even at this time they were still cannibals. 
The evidence in support of this theory has been 
obtained from the condition of the bones found in long 
barrows, for, in many instances, they are discovered in 
such a dislocated and broken state, that there can be 
little doubt that the flesh was removed before burial. 
The long barrow at Scamridge is a good example of 
this, for the remains of at least fourteen bodies were 
laid in no order but with the component bones broken, 
scattered, and lying in the most confused manner. 
Half a jaw was lying on part of a thigh-bone and a 
piece of a skull among the bones of a foot, while other 
parts of what appeared to belong to the same skull 
were found some distance apart. Canon Greenwell, 
who describes this barrow with great detail, also 
mentions that this disarrangement was not due to any 
disturbance of the barrow after its erection, but, on the 
contrary, there were most certain indications that the 
bones had been originally deposited exactly as they 
were found. He also points out that this condition of 

34 The Evolution of an English Town 

things is obviously inconsistent with the idea that the 
bodies had been buried with the flesh still upon them, 
and goes on to say that " it appeared to Dr Thurnam 
that there were in these broken and scattered fragments 
of skulls and disconnected bones the relics of barbarous 
feasts, held at the time of the interment, when slaves, 
captives, or even wives were slain and eaten." But 
although this argument appeared to Canon Greenwell 
to have some weight, he is inclined to think that the 
broken condition of the bones may have been due to 
the pressure of the mound above them after they had 
been partially burnt with the fires which were lit at 
one end of the barrow and so arranged that the heat 
was drawn through the interior. 

As the centuries passed the Neolithic people pro- 
gressed in many directions. They improved their 
methods of making their weapons until they were able 
to produce axe-heads so perfectly ground and polished 
and with such a keen cutting edge that it would be 
impossible to make anything better. These celts like 
the arrow-heads were always fitted into cleft handles 
or shafts of wood, and it was probably at a later 
period that the stone hammer, pierced with a hole, 
made its appearance. Spinning and weaving in some 
extremely primitive fashion were evolved, so that the 
people were not entirely clothed in skins. They 
cultivated wheat to a small extent and kept herds of 
goats and horned sheep. The pottery they made was 
crude and almost entirely without ornament. The 
skeletons of this period show that although they led a 

Flint arrow head of unusual 

Bronze spear head. 

Bronze celt found at 
Kirby Moorside. 

Flint arrow head 
found at Yedding. 
ham (.half size'). 

Bronze celt found 
at Scamridge. 

Highly polished celt of a 
bluish-white stone found at 

Flint arrow heads found at Moorcock 
and Wrelton (.half size). 

Stone hammer found at 

A flint knife, 4^ inches long. 

Lake Dwellings near Pickering 37 

life of great activity, probably as hunters, they were 
rather short in stature, averaging, it is thought by Dr 
Garson, less than 5 feet 6 inches. Their jaws were 
not prognathous as in negroes, and their brow ridges 
were not nearly so prominent as in the men of the Old 
Stone Age, and thus their facial expression 
must have been mild. 

A most interesting discovery of lake- 
dwellings was made in 1893 by Mr James 
M. Mitchelson of Pickering, but although the 
relics brought to light are numerous, no one 
has yet been able to make any definite state- 
ment as to the period to which they belong. 
The Costa Beck, a stream flowing from the 

, . T/'iiTTi i i Leaf-shaped arrow 

huge spring at Keld Head, on the west side head found b y Dr j. 
of Pickering, was being cleaned out for L ' Klrk * 
drainage purposes at a spot a little over two miles 
from the town, when several pieces of rude pottery 
were thrown on to the bank. These excited Mr 
Mitchelson's interest and at another occasion his 
examination revealed more pottery and mixed up with 
the fragments were the bones of animals. Some piles 
forming two parallel rows about 4 feet apart were also 
discovered crossing the stream at right angles to its course. 
The diagram given here shows the position of the 
piles as far as they were revealed in one of the excava- 
tions and it also shows their presumed continuation, but 
no reliance can be placed on anything but those 
actually dug out and indicated with a solid black spot. 
The piles were made of oak, birch and alder, with very 

38 The Evolution of an English Town 

rough pointed ends, and they measured from 6 to 10 
inches in diameter. Three other rows cross the Costa in 
the same neighbourhood separated by a few hundred 
yards and as they lie at right angles to the stream which 
there forms a concave bend, they appear to converge 
upon one point. This would be what may roughly 
be termed an island between the Costa and a large 
drain where water in ancient times probably accumu- 
lated or flowed. 

There can therefore be little doubt that the island 
was the home of prehistoric lake-dwellers who con- 
structed their homes on rude platforms raised above 
the water or marshy ground by means of piles after 
the fashion of the numerous discoveries in Switzerland, 
and the present habits of the natives of many islands 
in the Pacific. Among the quantities of skulls and 
bones of animals, pottery and human skeletons, no 
traces of metal were brought to light and the coarse 
jars and broken urns were, with one exception, entirely 
devoid of ornamentation. The ground that was 
removed before the chief discoveries were made, con- 
sisted of about 8 or i o inches of cultivated soil, below 
which came about 2 feet 6 inches of stiff blue clay, 
and then about 6 feet of peat resting on the Kimme- 
ridge clay that formed the bottom of Lake Pickering. 
Most of the relics were found resting on the clay so 
they must have remained there for a sufficient time to 
have allowed these thick deposits to have formed, and 
it is possible that they may be associated with some of 
the Neolithic people who took to this mode of living 

A vase of black earthenware. 

Two pieces of horn, one showing attempts to cut with some 
instrument. The lower piece has been neatly cut at both 

A whorl stone for weaving. 

A human femur (thigh bone). The ends show signs of having 
been gnawed by wolves. 

made from 
deer's horn, 
found with 
the skeleton 
of a woman. 



i'i . 

o o 


or MLCB o 


* oweuiNa. 

A sketch plan of the excavations (from fke 
Proceedings of t lie Yorkshire Geological and 
Polytechnic Society. 

Fragment of a large earthenware 
jar or urn. 


A remarkable Thigh Bone 41 

when the Celtic invaders with their bronze weapons 
were steadily driving them northwards or reducing 
them to a state of slavery. A complete account of 
the discoveries was in 1898 read by Captain Cecil 
Buncombe at a meeting of the members of the 
Anthropological Institute and in the discussion which 
followed, 1 Mr C. H. Reid gave it as his opinion that 
the pottery probably belonged to a period not much 
earlier than the Roman occupation. Against this 
idea we have a most interesting statement made on 
another occasion by Professor Boyd Dawkins concerning 
one of the human bones ; on examining the femur 
illustrated here he said that it could only have belonged 
to an individual possessing prehensile toes, and he also 
pointed out that the ends of this bone show signs of 
having been gnawed by dogs or similar animals. 
Captain Duncombe, who was to some extent quoting 
Professor Boyd Dawkins, said that the bones were " ap- 
parently those of a very small race." The complete 
skeleton of a young woman was found with the ex- 
ception of the skull. "Though an adult," he says, "she 
could not, judging from the thigh-bones, have exceeded 
4 feet 6 inches in height, and the owner of the longest 
thigh-bone would not have exceeded 5 feet. Though 
the bones are those of a people of short stature they 
are remarkable for their very prominent ridges for the 
attachment of the muscles, such as are quite unknown 
at the present day in England. They denote a race 

1 Journal of the Anthropological Institute, New Series (1899), vol. i. 
p. 150. 

42 The Evolution of an English Town 

inured to hard toil, or one leading a life of constant 
activity." On the breast bone of the woman were 
found the two ornaments illustrated. They were 
made from the tines of a red deer's horn. 

Another interesting discovery was the evidence of 
different attempts to cut some pieces of deer's horn. 
The shallow grooves were probably made by rubbing 
with a rib bone or some other sharp edge and sand and 
water. A small black vase unornamented but in perfect 
condition was dug up near the remains of the young 
woman. There were numerous skulls of the pre- 
historic ox or bos longifrons and also of the straight- 
horned sheep. A piece of the antlers of a great 
palmated deer now extinct tends to place the discoveries 
at an early time, but until more evidence is forthcoming 
the period to which these lake-dwellers belong must 
remain uncertain. 

A list of the bones discovered includes the 
following : 

Human (of at least four individuals). 

Deer (of three species). 

Horse (a small variety), numerous. 

Ox (Bos longifrons), numerous. 

Sheep (straight- horned), numerous. 

Goat (one skull). 

Pig (both wild and domesticated). 




Part of the horns of a Great 
Palmated Deer. 

Part of the skull of a Straight-horned 

A skull of a Bos Longifrons or Pre-historic Ox. 

Some examples of remains of Pre-historic Animals discovered in the Lake Dwellings 
by the river Costa. 

The first Users of Metal 45 

Beaver (one skull). 
Voles (of different kinds). 

The introduction of metal into Britain was due to the 
successive waves of Celtic Aryans who by means of 
their bronze weapons were able to overcome the 
Neolithic people. The Brythons or Britons, one of 
these Celtic peoples, seem to have succeeded in occupy- 
ing the whole of England. They buried their dead in 
the round barrows which are to be found in most parts 
of the country but are particularly numerous on the 
hills immediately surrounding Pickering and on the 
wolds to the south of the Vale. 

Some of the round barrows, as already mentioned, 
contain no traces of metal but in a number of those near 
Pickering have been found bronze Celts and spear-heads 
accompanied by beautifully finished weapons of stone. 
There can be no doubt, therefore, that the use of metal 
crept in slowly, and that stone, horn and bone continued 
to be used for many centuries after its introduction. 

The Celtic people were possessed of a civilisation 
infinitely more advanced than that of the Neolithic or 
Iberian races. They were the ancestors of the " Ancient 
Britons" who offered such a stout resistance to the 
Roman legions under Julius Caesar. 

Not only are there innumerable barrows or burial 
mounds constructed by this early race on the hills above 
the Vale, but on Beacon Hill, the slight eminence just to 
the west of Pickering Castle, at Cawthorne and also at 

46 The Evolution of an English Town 

Cropton, there are evidences of what may be their 
fortifications, while the plough is continually bringing to 
light more relics of the period. A fine collection of these 
have been brought together and are to be seen in Mr T. 
Mitchelson's private museum near Pickering Church. 
Two large cases contain a most remarkable series of burial 
urns, incense cups and food vessels all found in barrows in 
the neighbourhood. The urns are generally ornamented 
with bands of diagonal or crossed markings and other 
designs as well as with the impressions of twisted pieces 
of hide or grasses. The bases are usually very small for 
the size of the urns, after the fashion of those in Canon 
GreenwelPs examples in the British Museum. In that 
collection may be seen several cinerary urns, incense 
cups and food vessels from Hutton Buscel, Ganton, 
Slingsby, Egton and other places in the vicinity of 
Pickering. They belong to the same period as those 
in Mr Mitchelson's museum and are, on account of the 
simplicity and comparative rarity of the bronze imple- 
ments that have been discovered with them, considered 
to belong to the earliest bronze period, that is, to the time 
of the first Celtic invasions. Many of the objects in 
Mr Mitchelson's museum are not labelled with the place 
of their origin, the manuscript catalogue made some 
years ago having been lost ; but with a few exceptions 
the entire collection comes from barrows situated in 
the neighbourhood, having been brought together by 
Mr Thomas Kendall more than fifty years ago. 

A complete skeleton in a stone cist is now lying in 
a glass case in the museum. It was discovered acci- 


It was discovered by a farmer in a field between Appleton-le-Moor and Spaunton, 

and is now in the Museum at Pickering. [Copyright reserved by Dr /. L. Kirk. 

A Bronze Age Skeleton 47 

dentally by a farmer between Appleton-le-Moor and 
Spaunton. He had decided to remove a huge stone 
that had been an obstacle when ploughing, and in doing 
so found that he had removed the top stone of a cist 
belonging to the early Bronze Age. The man has a 
round or brachycephalic skull with the prominent brow- 
ridges and powerful jaws of the Celtic people, and his 
right arm was arranged so that the hand was beneath 
the skull. By his left hand was the food vessel that is 
now placed on the left side of the skull, and at his feet 
are a number of small bronze studs or rivets. 

These Bronze Age men seem to have had a very 
general belief in the spirit world, for the dead warrior 
was buried with his weapons as well as food, so that he 
might be sustained while he hunted in the other world 
with the spirit of his favourite axe or spear. The 
museum contains examples of socketed bronze celts 
and spear heads, as well as an infinite variety of arrow- 
heads, flint knives, stone hammers and celts, and also 
coloured beads and other ornaments. 

Thus we find that in these early days mankind 
teemed in this part of Yorkshire. From all points 
around the shallow lake the smoke of fires ascended 
into the sky, patches of cultivation appeared among the 
trees, and villages, consisting of collections of primitive 
wooden huts, probably surrounded by a stockade, would 
have been discernible. 

A closer examination of one of these early British 
villages would have discovered the people clothed in 
woven materials, for an example of cloth of the period 

48 The Evolution of an English Town 

was discovered by Canon Greenwell in this locality 
and is now to be seen in the British Museum. The 
grinding of corn in the stone querns, so frequently 
found near Pickering, would have been in progress; 
fair-haired children with blue eyes would be helping 
the older folk in preparing food, dressing skins, making 

A Quern, now in the Pickering Museum. 

bows and arrows, and the innumerable employments 
that the advancing civilisation demanded. 

It is at this period that we reach the confines of 
history, records of an extremely unreliable character it is 
true, but strangely enough there are references by very 
early writers to the founding of Pickering. That the 
place should be mentioned at all in these fabulous 
writings is an interesting fact and gives Pickering an 
importance in those distant centuries which is surprising. 
John Stow in his " Summarie of Englyshe Chronicles," 

"A wonderfull Monster" 49 

published in 1565, gives the following fanciful story of 
the father of the founder of Pickering. 

" Morindus, the bastard son of Danius, began B.C. ; 
to reigne in Britain: he (as our Chronicles 
saye) fought with a kynge, who came out of 
Germany e, and arrived here, and slew hym 
with all his power. Moreover (as they write) 
of the Irishe seas in his tyme, came foorthe a 
wonderfull monster : whiche destroyed muche 
people. Wherof the king hearyng would of 
his valiaunt courage, needes fyght with it : by 
who he was cleane devoured, whe he had 
reigned viii. yeres." 

His two youngest sons were Vigenius and 
Peredurus, and of them Stow writes : 

"Vigenius and Peredurus, after the takyng 
of their brother [Elidurus, the former King] 
reigned together, vii. yeres. Vigenius tha died, 
and Peredurus reygned after alone, ii. yeares. 
He buylded the towne of Pyckeryng after the B.C. ; 
opinion of divers writers." 

Raphael Holinshed, who was a contemporary of 
Stow and used many of his sources of information, 
gives the following account of the same period l : 

" Vigenius and Peredurus, the yoongest sonnes 

1 Holinshed, Raphael ; " Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland, " 
p. 461. 

50 The Evolution of an English Town 

of Morindus, and brethren to Elidurus, began to 
reigne jointlie as kings of Britaine, in the year of 
the world 3701, after the building of Rome 
485. . . . These two brethren in the English 
chronicles are named Higanius and Petitur, who 
(as Gal. Mon. [Geoffrey of Monmouth] testifieth) 
divided the realme betwixt them, so that all the 
land from Humber westward fell to Vigenius or 
Higanius, the other part beyond Humber north- 
ward Peredure held. But other affirme, that 
Peredurus onelie reigned, and held his brother 
Elidurus in prison by his owne consent, for so- 
much as he was not willing to governe. 

" But Gal. Mon. saith, that Vigenius died after 
he had reigned 7 yeares, and then Peredurus 
seized all the land into his owne rule, and governed 
it with such sobrietie and wisedome, that he was 
praised above all his brethren, so that Elidurus 
was quite forgotten of the Britains. But others 
write that he was a verie tyrant, and used himselfe 
verie cruellie towards the lords of his land, where- 
upon they rebelled and slue him. But whether 

Caxton. by violent hand, or by naturall sicknesse, he 

finallie departed this life, after the consent of most 
writers, when he had reigned eight yeares, leaving 
no issue behind him to succeed in the governance 

Eth. Bur. of the Kingdome. He builded the towne of 

Pikering, where his bodie was buried." 

Whatever memorial was raised to this legendary 



rtj ** 

T3PQ a 

il ! 

s > < 


o ll 

! ill 

z -ow.S 

* ! 

The Courage of the Brigantes 5 i 

king of the Brigantes, has totally disappeared. It 
may have been a mighty barrow surrounded with great 
stones and containing the golden ornaments worn by 
Peredurus, but if it existed outside the imaginations of 
the Chroniclers it would probably have been plundered 
and obliterated during the Roman occupation or by 
marauding Angles or Danes. 

Mr Bateman tells us that in 1853, two Celtic coins 
in billon or mixed metal of the peculiar rough type 
apparently characteristic of and confined to the coinage 
of the Brigantes, were found by quarry men engaged in 
baring the rock near Pickering. 

There may have been two British fortresses at 
Pickering at this time, one on the site of the present 
castle and one the hill on the opposite side of the 
Pickering Beck, where, as already mentioned, the 
circular ditches and mounds indicate the existence of 
some primitive stockaded stronghold. 

At Cawthorne, a few miles to the north, there are 
British enclosures adjoining the Roman camps ; and at 
Cropton, on the west side of the village and in a most 
commanding position, a circular hill-top shows palpable 
evidences of having been fortified. 

Of the megalithic remains or " Bride Stones," as 
they are generally termed in Yorkshire, it is difficult 
to say anything with certainty. Professor Windle, in 
his list of those existing in the county, 1 mentions 
among others 

1 Windle, Bertram, C. A., " Remains of the Pre-historic Age in England," 
pp. 203-4. 

52 The Evolution of an English Town 

1. "The Bride Stones" near Grosmont (Circle). 

2. " The Bride Stones," Sleights Moor (Circle). 

3. Simon Houe, near Goathland Station. 

4. " The Standing Stones " (three upright stones), 

if miles S.-W. of Robin Hood's Bay, on 
Fylingdales Moor. 


How the Roman Occupation of Britain affected the 
Forest and Vale of Pickering 

B.C. 55 to A.D. 418 

THE landings of Julius Caesar, in 55 and 54 B.C., 
and the conflicts between his legions and the 
southern tribes of Britain, were little more, in 
the results obtained, than a reconnaissance in force, and 
Yorkshire did not feel the effect of the Roman invasion 
until nearly a century after the first historic landing. 

The real invasion of Britain began in A.D. 43, when 
the Emperor Claudius sent Aulus Plautius across the 
Channel with four legions ; and after seven years of 
fighting the Romans, taking advantage of the inter- 
tribal feuds of the Britons, had reduced the southern 
half of England to submission. 

Plautius was succeeded by Ostorius Scapula in 
A.D. 50, and from Tacitus * we learn that he " found 
affairs in a troubled state, the enemy making irrup- 
tions into the territories of our allies, with so much the 
more insolence as they supposed that a new general, 
with an army unknown to him, and now that the 

1 Tacitus, the Oxford Translation, revised 1854, vol. i, book xii. pp. 


54 The Evolution of an English Town 

winter had set in, would not dare to make head against 
them." Scapula, however, vigorously proceeded with 
the work of subjugation, and having overcome the 
Iceni of East Anglia and the Fen Country, he was 
forcing his way westwards into Wales when he heard 
of trouble brewing in the North. " He had approached 
near the sea which washes the coast of Ireland," says 
Tacitus, " when commotions, begun amongst the 
Brigantes, obliged the general to return thither." The 
Brigantes were the powerful and extremely fierce tribe 
occupying Yorkshire, Durham, Cumberland, and West- 
morland, and among them were the people whose 
remains are so much in evidence near Pickering. They 
had probably been under tribute to the Romans, and 
their struggle against the invaders in this instance does 
not appear to have been well organised, for we are told 
that when the Romans arrived in their country, they 
" soon returned to their homes, a few who raised the 
revolt having been slain, and the rest pardoned." We 
also know that in A.D. 7 1 Petilius Cerealis attacked the 
Brigantes and subdued a great part of their country ; 
and as the Romans gradually brought the tribe com- 
pletely under their control, they established the camps 
and constructed the roads of which we find so many 
evidences to-day. The inhabitants of the hills sur- 
rounding the Vale of Pickering were overawed by a 
great military station at Cawthorne on a road running 
north and south from that spot. It may have been 
the Delgovicia mentioned in the first Antonine I ten, 
and in that case Malton would have been Derventione, 

(From Ou Ordnance Survey.) 

The Roman Road to the Coast 57 

and Whitby, or some spot in Dunsley Bay, would have 
been Prastorio, but at the present time there is not 
sufficient data for fixing these names with any certainty. 
It has also been supposed by General Roy 1 that Caw- 
thorne was occupied by the famous Qth legion after 
they had left Scotland, owing to the similarity of con- 
struction between the most westerly camp at Caw- 
thorne and the one at Dealgin Ross in Strathern, where 
the gth legion were supposed to have had their narrow 
escape from defeat by the Caledonians during Agricola's 
sixth campaign. But this also is somewhat a matter of 

Coming to the firmer ground of the actual remains 
of the Roman roads and camps, we find that traces of 
a well-constructed road, locally known as Wade's Cause- 
way, have been discovered at various points on a line 
drawn from Malton to Cawthorne and Whitby. Some 
of these sections of the road have disappeared since 
Francis Drake described them in I736, 2 and at the 
present time the work of destruction continues at in- 
tervals when a farmer, converting a few more acres of 
heather into potatoes, has the ill-luck to strike the road- 

In the month of January this year (1905), I ex- 
amined a piece of ground newly taken under cultivation 
at Stape. It was about half a mile north of the little 
inn and just to the west of Mauley Cross. The stones 

1 Roy, Major Gen. William : " The Military Antiquities of the 
Romans in Britain," 1793, Plate xi. 

2 Drake, Francis : " Eboracum," p. 36. 

5 8 The Evolution of an English Town 

were all thrown out of their original positions and a 
pile of them had been taken outside the turf wall for 
road-mending and to finish the walls against the gate 
posts, but the broad track of the roadway, composed of 
large odd-shaped stones, averaging about a foot in 
width, was still strikingly in evidence a mottled band 
passing straight through the chocolate-coloured soil. 

All who have described the road state that on each 
side of the causeway where it remains undisturbed there 
is a line of stones placed on their edges in order to keep 
the stones in place, but in this instance the stones were 
too much disturbed to observe their original formation. 
Among the furrows I discovered quantities of flint- 
flakes, indicating the manufacture of stone implements 
on this site, no flints being naturally found in the 

The road went through the most perfectly con- 
structed of the three square camps at Cawthorne from 
west to east, cutting through one corner of the adjacent 
oval camp. It then seems to have passed down the 
slack a little to the north-east, and crossing the stream 
below (probably in Roman times by a wooden bridge) 
it takes a fairly straight course for the little hamlet of 
Stape just mentioned. The slope from the camps is 
extremely steep, and in 1817, when Dr Young wrote 
his " History of Whitby," he tells us that there were no 
traces of the road at that point. Going back to 1736, 
however, we find that Drake, in his " History of York " 
published in that year, says, " At the foot of the hill 
began the road or causeway, very plain " ; he also tells 

" The Country People curse it often" 59 

us that he first heard of the road, with the camp upon 
it, from Mr Thomas Robinson of Pickering "a 
gentleman well versed in this kind of learning." 
Drake, enthusiastically describing his examination of 
the road, says, " I had not gone a hundred paces on 
it, but I met with a mile stone of the grit kind^ a 
sort not known in this country. It was placed in the 
midst of the causeway, but so miserably worn, either 
by sheep or cattle rubbing against it, or the weather, 
that I missed of the inscription, which, I own, I ran 
with great eagerness to find. The causeway is just 
twelve foot broad, paved with a flint pebble [probably 
very hard limestone], some of them very large, and in 
many places it is as firm as it was the first day, a 
thing the more strange in that not only the distance 
of time may be considered, but the total neglect of 
repairs and the boggy rotten moors it goes over. 
In some places the agger is above three foot raised 
from the surface. The country people curse it 
often for being almost wholly hid in the ling, it 
frequently overturns their carts laden with turf as 
they happen to drive across it. It was a great pleasure 
to me to trace this wonderful road, especially when I 
soon found out that it pointed to the bay aforesaid. 
I lost it sometimes by the interposition of valleys, 
rivulets, or the exceeding great quantity of ling grow- 
ing on these moors. I had then nothing to do but 
observe the line, and riding crossways, my horse's feet, 
through the ling, informed me when I was upon it. 
In short, I traced it several miles, and could have been 

Go The Evolution of an English Town 

pleased to have gone on with it to the seaside, but my 
time would not allow me. However, I prevailed upon 
Mr Robinson to send his servant, and a very intelli- 
gent person of Pickering along with him, and they 
not only made it fairly out to Dunsley, but brought 
me a sketch of the country it went through with them. 
From which I have pricked it out in the map, as the 
reader will find at the end of this account." 

I have examined Drake's map but find that he has 
simply ruled two perfectly straight parallel lines between 
Cawthorne and Dunsley, so that except for the fact 
that Mr Robinson's servant and the intelligent 
Pickeronian found that the road did go to Dunsley we 
have no information as to its exact position. Young, 
however, describes its course past Stape and Mauley 
Cross over Wheeldale and Grain Becks to July or 
Julian Park. In the foundation of a wall round an 
enclosure at that point he mentions the discovery of an 
inscribed Roman stone of which a somewhat crude 
woodcut is given in his " History of Whitby." The 
inscription appears to be ILVI VILVX, and Young read 
it as LE. VI. VI. L. VEX, or in full LEGIONIS SEXTVE 
vexillary soldiers of the sixth legion, the Victorious." 
This rendering of the abbreviations may be inaccurate, 
and some of the letters before and after those visible 
when the stone was discovered may have been obliter- 
ated, but Dr Young thought that the inscription was 
probably complete. On Lease Rigg beyond July 
Park the road cuts through another Roman camp of 

The Roman Camp at Barugh 61 

similar dimensions to the western one at Cawthorne. 
In the map reproduced here a much clearer idea of the 
course of the road can be had than by any description. 
I have marked the position of the road to the south of 
Cawthorne as passing through Barugh, where Drake 
discovered it in 1736. "From the camp" (Caw- 
thorne), he writes, " the road disappears towards York, 
the agger being either sunk or removed by the country 
people for their buildings. But taking the line, as 
exactly as I could, for the city, I went down the hill to 
Tbornton-Risebro'w, and had some information from a 
clergyman of a kind of a camp at a village called 
vulgarly BARF; but corruptly, no doubt, from 
BURGH. Going to this place, I was agreeably sur- 
prised to fall upon my long lost road again ; and 
here plainly appeared also a small intrenchment on 
it ; from whence, as I have elsewhere hinted, the 
Saxon name Burgh might come. The road is dis- 
cernible enough, in places, to Neivsam-Bridge over 
the river Rye ; not far from which is a mile-stone of 
grit yet standing. On the other side of the river the 
Stratum, or part of it, appears very plain, being com- 
posed of large blue pebble, some of a tun weight ; and 
directs us to a village called Aimanderby. Barton on 
the Street, and Appleton on the Street, lye a little on 
the side of the road." Drake then proceeds to speculate 
as to the likelihood of the road still making a bee-line 
for York, or whether it diverged towards Malton, then 
no doubt a Roman station ; but as his ideas are un- 
important in comparison with his discoveries, we will 

62 The Evolution of an English Town 

leave him to return to the camps at Cawthorne. The 
hill they occupy forms part of a bold escarpment 
running east and west between Newton upon Rawcliff 
and Cropton, having somewhat the appearance of an 
inland coast-line. On the north side of the camps 
the hill is precipitous, and there can be little doubt 
that the position must, in Roman times, have been 
one of the strongest in the neighbourhood. This is 
not so apparent to-day as it would be owing to the 
dense growth of larch and fir planted by Mr James 
Mitchelson's father about forty years ago. There are, 
however, peeps among the trees which reveal a view 
of the great purple undulations of the heathery plateau 
to the north, and the square camp marked A on the 
plan is entirely free from trees although completely 
shut in by the surrounding plantation. In the summer 
it is an exceedingly difficult matter to follow the ditches 
and mounds forming the outline of the camps, for 
besides the closely planted trees the bracken grows waist 
high. The vallum surrounding each enclosure is still 
of formidable height, and in camp A is double with a 
double fosse of considerable depth. Camps C and D are 
both rectangular, but C, the largest of the four, is 
stronger and more regular in shape than D, and it may 
have been that D was the camp of the auxiliaries 
attached to the legion or part of a legion quartered 
there. The five outer gates of C and D are protected 
by overlapping earthworks, the opening being diagonal 
to the face of the camp, but the opening between these 
two enclosures is undefended. Camp B may have 

Exhuming a Chariot 63 

been for cattle or it may have been another camp of 
auxiliaries, for unlike the other three it is oval and 
might even have been a British encampment used by 
the Romans when they selected this commanding site 
as their headquarters for the district. 

To fix the origin of a camp by its formation is 
very uncertain work and no reliance can be placed on 
statements based on such evidence ; but Camp A bears 
the stamp of Roman work unmistakably, and the fact 
that the Roman road cuts right through its east and 
west gates seems a sufficiently conclusive proof. It is 
also an interesting fact that between forty and fifty 
years ago Mr T. Kendall of Pickering discovered the 
remains of a chariot in a barrow on the west side of 
Camp A. Fragments of a wooden pole 1 1 feet long, 
and of four spokes, could be traced as well as the 
complete iron tyres of both wheels, and portions of a 
hub. These remains, together with small pieces of 
bronze harness fittings, are now carefully arranged in a 
glass case in Mr Mitchelson's museum at Pickering. 

There is a mill just to the south of Pickering known 
as Vivers Mill, and near Cawthorne there is a farm 
where Roman foundations have been discovered, known 
as Bibo House. Both these names have a curiously 
Roman flavour, but as to their origin I can say nothing. 

The three or four plans of these camps that have 

been published are all inaccurate ; the first, in Drake's 

' Eboracum," being the greatest offender. General 

Roy has shown camps B and C in the wrong positions 

in regard to A, and even Dr Young, who himself notices 

64 The Evolution of an English Town 

these mistakes, is obliged to point out that the wood- 
cut that is jammed sideways on one of his pages is not 
quite correct in regard to camp C (marked A on his 
plan), although otherwise it is fairly accurate. 

A small square camp is just visible in a field to the 
east of Cawthorne ; there is an oval one on Levisham 
Moor, and others square and oval dotted over the 
moors in different directions, but they are of uncertain 
origin. There can be little doubt that subsidiary 
camps and entrenchments would have been established 
by the Romans in a country where the inhabitants 
were as fierce and warlike as these Brigantes, but 
whether the dominant power utilised British fortresses 
or whether they always built square camps is a matter 
on which it is impossible to dogmatise. 

A number of Roman articles were dug up when 
the cutting for the railway to Sinnington was being 
made, and the discoveries at this point are particularly 
interesting as the site is in an almost direct line between 
Cawthorne and Barugh. 

We are possessed, however, of sufficient evidence to 
gain a considerable idea of Pickering during the four 
hundred years of the Roman occupation. We have 
seen that the invaders constructed a great road on their 
usual plan, going as straight as the nature of the country 
allowed from their station at Malton to the sea near or 
at Whitby ; that on this road they built large camps 
where some hundreds, possibly thousands of troops were 
permanently stationed, although the icy-cold blasts from 
the north-east may have induced them to occupy more 

The Departure of the Romans 65 

protected spots in winter. Roman chariots, squads of foot 
soldiers, and mounted men would have been a common 
sight on the road, and to the sullen natives the bronze 
eagle would gradually have become as familiar as their 
own totem-posts. Gradually we know that the 
British chiefs and their sons and daughters became 
demoralised by the sensual pleasures of the new 
civilisation and thus the invaders secured themselves in 
their new possessions in a far more efficacious manner 
than by force of arms. 

The Britons remained under the yoke of Rome 
until A.D. 418, when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells 
us that " This year the Romans collected all the hoards 
of gold that were in Britain ; and some they hid in the 
earth, so that no man afterwards might find them, and 
some they carried away with them into Gaul," and in 
A.D. 435 we find the record that " This year the Goths 
sacked the city of Rome and never since have the 
Romans reigned in Britain." The Brigantes were thus 
once more free to work out their own destiny, but the 
decay of their military prowess which had taken place 
during the Roman occupation made them an easy prey 
to the daring Saxon pirates who, even before the Romans 
finally left England, are believed to have established 
themselves in scattered bodies on some parts of the 
coast. The incursions of these warlike peoples belong 
to the Saxon era described in the next chapter. 


The Forest and Vale in Saxon Times 
A.D. 418 to 1066 

seems little doubt that the British re- 
remained a barbarous people throughout the 
four centuries of their contact with Roman 
influences, for had they progressed in this period they 
would have understood in some measure the great 
system by which the Imperial power had held the 
island with a few legions and a small class of residential 
officials. Having failed to absorb the new military 
methods, when left to themselves, there was no unify- 
ing idea among the Britons, and they seem to have 
merely reverted to some form of their old tribal 
organisation. The British cities constituted themselves 
into a group of independent states generally at war with 
one another, but sometimes united under the pressure of 
some external danger. Under such circumstances they 
would select some chieftain whose period of ascendency 
could be measured only by the continuance of the 

From Bede's writings we find that the Scots from 
the west and the Picts from the north continually 
harassed the Britons despite occasional help from Rome, 
and despite the wall they built across the north of 


A cruel and dangerous Enemy 67 

England. In these straits the British invited help from 
the Angles and Saxons, who soon engaged the northern 
tribesmen and defeated them. The feebleness of the 
Britons having become well known among the 
continental peoples, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes 
began to steadily swarm across the North Sea in 
powerful, armed bands. Having for a time assisted 
the Britons they began to seek excuses for quarrels, and 
gradually the Britons with brief periods of success were 
beaten and dispossessed of their lands until they were 
driven into the western parts of the island. The 
Angles occupied most of northern England, including 
the kingdom of Northumbria, of which Yorkshire 
formed a large part. These fierce Anglo-Saxon people, 
with an intermixing of Danish blood, a few centuries 
later were the ancestors of a great part of the present 
population of the county. Sidonius Apollinaris, a 
Bishop of Gaul, who wrote in the fifth century, says, 
" We have not a more cruel and more dangerous 
enemy than the Saxons : they overcome all who have 
the courage to oppose them ; they surprise all who are 
so imprudent as not to be prepared for their attack. 
When they pursue they infallibly overtake ; when 
they are pursued their escape is certain. They despise 
danger ; they are inured to shipwreck ; they are eager 
to purchase booty with the peril of their lives. 
Tempests, which to others are so dreadful, to them 
are subjects of joy ; the storm is their protection when 
they are pressed by the enemy, and a cover for their 
operations when they meditate an attack. Before 

68 The Evolution of an English Town 

they quit their own shores, they devote to the altars 
of their gods the tenth part of the principal captives ; 
and when they are on the point of returning, the lots 
are cast with an affectation of equity, and the impious 
vow is fulfilled." 

Gradually these invaders settled down in Britain, 
which soon ceased to be called Britain, and assumed 
the name Angle-land or England. In A.D. 547 Ida 
founded the kingdom of Northumbria, one of the 
divisions forming the Saxon Heptarchy, and among 
the villages and families that owed allegiance to him 
were those of the neighbourhood of Pickering. The 
first fortifications by the Anglo-Saxons were known 
as bubrs or burgs. Some of them were no doubt 
Roman or British camps adapted to their own needs, 
but generally these earth works were required as the 
fortified home of some lord and his household, and 
there can be little doubt that in most instances new 
entrenchments were made, large enough to afford a 
refuge for the tenants as well as their flocks and herds. 

Pickering itself must have been an Anglo-Saxon 
village of some importance, and the artificial mound on 
which the keep of the castle now stands would 
probably have been raised during this period if it had 
not been constructed at a much earlier date. It would 
have palisades defending the top of the mound, 
and similar defences inside the entrenchments that 
formed the basecourt. These may have occupied the 
position of the present dry moat that defends the castle 
on two of its three sides. If Pickering had been 


The lower portion, owing to the quoins which somewhat resemble the "long and short" work of 
the Saxons, has been thought to be of pre-Norman date. The blocked doorway appearing in the 
drawing has every appearance of Saxon workmanship. 

Anglo-Saxon Villages 71 

founded by the Anglo-Saxons we should have expected 
a name ending with " ton," " ham," " thorpe," or 
" borough," but its remarkable position at the mouth 
of Newton Dale may have led them to choose a 
name which may possibly mean an opening by the 
" ings " or wet lands. It is, however, impossible at 
the present time to discover the correct derivation 
of the name. It probably has nothing whatever 
to do with the superficial "pike" and "ring," and 
the suggestion that it means " The Maiden's 
Ring" from the Scandinavian " pika," a maiden, 
and " hringr," a circle or ring, may be equally 
incorrect. The settlements in the neighbourhood must 
have occupied the margin of the marshes in close 
proximity to one another, and most of them from the 
suffix " ton " would appear to have been the " tuns " 
or fortified villages named after the family who founded 
them. Thus we find between Pickering and Scar- 
borough at the present time a string of eleven villages 
bearing the names Thornton, Wilton, Allerston, Ebber- 
ston, Snainton, Brompton, Ruston, Hutton (Buscel of 
Norman origin), Sawdon, Ayton and Irton. In the 
west and south there are Middleton, Cropton, Wrelton, 
Sinnington, Appleton, Nawton, Salton, Marton, 
Edston or Edstone, Habton, (Kirby) Misperton, 
Ryton, Rillington, and many others. Other Anglo- 
Saxon settlements indicating someone's ham or home 
would appear to have been made at Levisham, 
Yedingham and Lastingham. Riseborough seems to 
suggest the existence of some Anglo-Saxon fortress on 

72 The Evolution of an English Town 

that very suitable elevation in the Vale of Pickering. 
Barugh, a little to the south, can scarcely be anything 
else than a corruption of " buhr " or " burg," for the 
Anglian invaders, if they found the small Roman 
camp that appears to have been established on that 
slight eminence in the vale would have probably found 
it a most convenient site for one of their own forti- 
fications. Names ending with " thorpe," such as 
Kingthorpe, near Pickering, also indicate an Anglo- 
Saxon origin. Traces of the " by " or " byr," a single 
dwelling or single farm of the Danes, are to be found 
thickly dotted over this part of England, but in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Pickering there are only 
Blansby, Dalby, Farmanby, Aislaby, Roxby, and 
Normanby. To the east near Scarborough there are 
Osgodby, Killerby, Willerby, Flotmanby, and Hun- 
manby, so that it would appear that the strong 
community of Anglo-Saxon villages along the margin 
of the vale kept the Danish settlers at a distance. 

Goathland, which was often spelt Gothland, has 
a most suggestive sound, and the family names of 
Scoby and Scoresby seem to be of Danish origin. 
The " gate " of the streets of Pickering is a modifica- 
tion of the Danish " gade," meaning a " way," for the 
town was never walled. The influence of the Danes 
on the speech of this part of Yorkshire seems to me 
apparent in the slight sing-song modulation so similar 
to that of the present day people of Denmark. 

In A.D. 597 Augustine commenced his missionary 
work among the Saxons, and King Ethelbert of Kent 

The Coming of Christianity 73 

was baptised on June the 2nd of that year. Twenty- 
seven years later - Edwin, the powerful king of 
Northumbria, married Ethelburga, daughter of Ethelbert. 
When she accompanied her husband to his northern 
kingdom she took with her Paulinus, who was ordained 
bishop of the Northumbrians. " King Aldwin, there- 
fore," Bede tells us, 1 " together with all the nobles of his 
nation, and very many of the common people, received 
the faith and washing of sacred regeneration, in the 
eleventh year of his reign, which is the year of the Lord's 
incarnation, 6 2 7, and about the year 1 80 from the coming 
of the Angles into Britain. Moreover, he was baptised 
at York, on the holy day of Easter, the day before the 
Ides of April, in the church of the holy apostle Peter, 
which he himself built of wood in that place with ex- 
peditious labour, while he was being catechised and 
prepared in order to receive baptism." The Nor- 
thumbrians from this time forward were at least a 
nominally Christian people, and the seventh century 
certainly witnessed the destruction of many of the idols 
and their shrines that had hitherto formed the centre 
for the religious rites of the Anglo-Saxons. Woden 
or Odin, Thor and the other deities did not lose their 
adherents in a day, and Bede records the relapses into 
idolatry of Northumbria as well as the other parts of 
England. There can be no doubt that fairies and 
elves entered largely into the mythology of the Anglo- 
Saxons, and the firmness of the beliefs in beings of that 

1 Bede's " Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation," translated by 
Gidley, Rev. L., 1870, p. 152. 

74 The Evolution of an English Town 

nature can be easily understood when we realise that 
it required no fewer than twelve centuries of Christianity 
to finally destroy them among the people of Yorkshire. 
In Chapter XL we see something of the form the beliefs 
and superstitions had assumed at the time of their dis- 

In the seventh century most of the churches erected 
in Yorkshire were probably of wood, but the example 
of King Edwin at York, who quickly replaced the 
timber structure with a larger one of stone, must soon 
have made itself felt in the country. Nothing, however, 
in the form of buildings or inscribed stones for which 
we have any evidence for placing at such an early date 
remains in the neighbourhood of Pickering, although 
there are numerous crosses and traces of the masonry 
that may be termed Saxon or Pre-Conquest. 

The founding of a monastery at Lastingham is 
described by Bede, and with the particulars he gives we 
can place the date between the years 653 and 655. 
Bishop Cedd was requested by King Oidilward, who 
held rule in the parts of Deira, "to accept some 
possession of land of him to build a monastery to which 
the king himself [jEthelwald] also might frequently 
come to pray to the Lord, and to hear the Word, and 
in which he might be buried when he died." Further 
on we are told that Cedd "assenting to the king's 
wishes, chose for himself a place to build a monastery 
among lofty and remote mountains, in which there 
appeared to have been more lurking places of robbers 
and dens of wild beasts than habitations of men." 

The early font in the Chapel of Ease at 
Levisham, that was serving until recently as a 
cattle trough in a farmyard. 

THE BROKEN CROSS by the ruins of WYKE- 
HAM ABBEY. Scarcely any traces of carving 
are visible. 

A carved cross built into the wall of the tower (interior) of Middleton Church. The 
head is hidden in the angle of the wall. 

A protracted Fast 77 

This account is of extreme interest, being the only 
contemporary description of this part of Yorkshire 
known to us. " Moreover," says Bede, " the man of 
God, studying first by prayers and fastings to purge 
the place he had received for a monastery from its 
former filth of crimes, and so to lay in it the founda- 
tions of the monastery, requested of the king that he 
would give him during the whole ensuing time of 
Lent leave and licence to abide there for the sake of 
prayer; on all which days, with the exception of 
Sunday, protracting his fast to evening according to 
custom, he did not even then take anything except 
a very little bread and one hen's egg, with a little milk 
and water. For he said this was the custom of those 
of whom he had learnt the rule of regular discipline, 
first to consecrate to the Lord by prayers and fastings 
the places newly received for building a monastery or a 
church. And when ten days of the quadragesimal 
fast were yet remaining, there came one to summon 
him to the king. But he, in order that the religious 
work might not be intermitted on account of the king's 
affairs, desired his presbyter Cynibill, who was also his 
brother, to complete the pious undertaking. The 
latter willingly assented ; and the duty of fasting and 
prayer having been fulfilled, he built there a monastery 
which is now called Lsestingaeu [Lastingham], and 
instituted rules there, according to the customs of the 
monks of Lindisfarne, where he had been educated. 
And when for many years he [Cedd] had administered 
the episcopate in the aforesaid province, and also had 

7 8 The Evolution of an English Town 

taken charge of this monastery, over which he set 
superiors, it happened that coming to this same 
monastery at a time of mortality, he was attacked by 
bodily infirmity and died. At first, indeed, he was 
buried outside, but in process of time a church was 

{from a rubbing by MrJ. Rontilly Allen, F.S.A.) 

built of stone in the same monastery, in honour of the 
blessed mother of God, and in that church his body 
was laid on the right side of the altar." Cedd's death 
took place in 664, and Ceadda or Chad, one of his 
brothers, succeeded him as he had desired. 

Nothing remains of the buildings of this early 
monastery, and what happened to them, and what caused 
their disappearance, is purely a matter of conjecture. 
We can only surmise that they were destroyed during 
the Danish invasions of the ninth century. 

A Saxon Sundial 


At Kirkdale church, which is situated close to the 
cave already described, there was discovered about the 
year 1771 a sundial bearing the longest known inscrip- 
tion of the Anglo-Saxon period. The discoverer was 
the Rev. William Dade, rector of Barmston, in the East 
Riding, and a letter of great length, on the stone, from 
the pen of Mr J. C. Brooke, F.S.A. of the Herald's 
College, was read at the Society of Antiquaries 
in 1777. 

The sundial, without any gnomon, occupies the 
central portion of the stone, which is about 7 feet in 
length, and the inscription is closely packed in the 
spaces on either side. 

It reads as follows, the lines in brackets having the 
contractions expanded : 




















Completed under the dial. 







TO F ALAN . to 1 HE] 








EORL +] 



8o The Evolution of an English Town 

The modern rendering is generally accepted as: 
" Orm, the son of Gamal, bought St Gregory's minster 
(or church) when it was all broken and fallen, and 
caused it to be made anew from the ground for Christ 
and St Gregory in the days of King Edward, and in 
the days of Earl Tosti, and Hawarth wrought me 
and Brand the Prior, (priest or priests)." 

Along the top of the dial and round the perimeter 
the inscription reads : 





It is interesting to know that the antiquaries of a 
century or more ago rendered this simple sentence as : 
" This is a draught exhibiting the time of day, while 
the sun is passing to and from the winter-solstice." 
They also made a great muddle of the words : " & HE 
HIT LET MACAN NEWAN," their rendering 
translation being supposed to read : " Chehitle and others 
renewed it, etc." With Mr Brooke's paper is given a 
large steel engraving of the stone, but it is curiously 
inaccurate in many details. At Edstone church there 
is another sundial over the south doorway as at Kirkdale, 
and there is every reason to believe that it belongs to 
the same period. The inscription above the dial reads : 

On the left side is the following: 

The Insurrection of Tosti 



From the drawing given here the inscription is palpably 
incomplete, as though the writer had been suddenly 
stopped in his work. Nothing is known of Lothan 
beyond the making of this sundial, so that the fixing of 
the date can only be by comparative reasoning. At 
Kirkdale, on the other hand, we know that Tosti, 

(From a rubbing by Mr 7. Romilly Allen, F.S.A.) 

Harold's brother, became Earl of Northumbria in 1055, 
we know also that the Northumbrians rose against Tosti's 
misgovernment and his many crimes, among which 
must be placed the murder of the Gamal mentioned in 
the inscription, and that in 1065 Tosti was outlawed, 
his house-carles killed, and his treasures seized. After 
this we also know that Tosti was defeated by the Earls 
Edwin and Morcar, and having fled to Scotland, sub- 
mitted himself to Harold Hardrada, King of Norway, 
who had arrived in the Tyne with his fleet early in 

8 2 The Evolution of an English Town 

September 1066, that they then sailed southwards, and 
having sacked Scarborough defeated Edwin and Morcar 
at Fulford near York only eight days before the 
landing of William the Norman at Pevensey. Harold 
having made forced marches reached York on September 
the 24th, and defeated his brother and the Norwegian 
king, both being slain in the battle which was fought 
at Stamford Bridge on the Derwent. Harold was 
forced to take his wearied army southwards im- 
mediately after the battle to meet the Frenchmen at 
Hastings, and the great disaster of Senlac Hill occurred 
on October the i4th. This stone at Kirkdale is thus 
concerned with momentous events in English history, 
for the murder of Gamal and the insurrection of Tosti 
may be considered two of the links in the chain of events 
leading to the Norman Conquest. 

A great deal of interest has centred round an Anglo- 
Saxon cross-slab built into the west wall of Kirkdale 
church. At the time of its discovery the late Rev. 
Daniel H. Haigh 1 tells us that a runic inscription 
spelling Kununc Oithllwalde^ meaning "to King 
.Sthelwald," was quite legible. This would seem to 
indicate that the founder of Lastingham monastery 
was buried at Kirkdale, or that the site of Bede's, 
" Laestingaeu " was at Kirkdale if the stone has not 
been moved from its original position. 

The inscription has now perished, but Bishop 
Browne tells us 2 that when he had photographs taken 

1 Torkshire Archa oltgical Journal^ v. 134. 

2 Browne, Rt. Rev. G. F. : The Conversion of the Heptarchy," p. 151. 

Fragment of a stone cross in 
Pickering Church. 

A curious figure on the shaft 
of a pre-Norman cross in the 
north aisle of Middleton Church. 


The richly carved head of a pre- 
Norman cross in the south wall of 
the nave of Ellerburne Church. 


A pre-Norman cross in Middleton 

Saxon Stones near Pickering 85 

of the stone in 1886 " there was only one rune left, the 
' Oi ' of the king's name." " I have seen, however," 
he says, " the drawing made of the letters when the 
stone was found, and many of them were still legible 
when the Rev. Daniel Haigh worked at the stone." 
There seems little doubt that this most valuable 
inscription might have been preserved if the stone had 
been kept from the action of the air and weather. 

There are several other pre-Norman sculptured 
stones at Kirkdale. They are generally built into the 
walls on the exterior, and are not very apparent unless 
carefully looked for. In the vestry some fragments of 
stone bearing interlaced ornament are preserved. 

Not only at Kirkdale are these pre-Norman stones 
built into walls that appear to belong to a date prior to 
the Conquest, but also at Middleton there is a fine cross 
forming part of the fabric of the church tower. The 
west doorway now blocked up is generally considered 
to be of Saxon work, but the quoins of the tower, 
though bearing much resemblance to the pure "long 
and short " work that may be seen at Bradford-on- 
Avon, are composed of stones that are almost equal in 

The Rev. Reginald Caley has suggested that the 
original Saxon tower of B romp ton church may have 
been incorporated into the present structure whose walls 
are of unusual thickness, the stone work in some places 
showing characteristics of pre-Norman workmanship. 
At Ellerburne the curious spiral ornaments of the 
responds of the chancel arch have also been attributed 

86 The Evolution of an English Town 

to pre-Norman times, but in this case and possibly 
at Middleton also, the Saxon features may have 
appeared in Norman buildings owing to the employ- 


The runes which gave rise to the 
belief that this was the gravestone 
of King ^Ethelwald have perished. 


(Both crosses are from the Associated Architectural Societies" Reports.) 

ment of Saxon workmen, who did not necessarily for 
several years entirely abandon their own methods, 
despite the fact that they might be working under 
Norman masters. There is a very roughly hewn font 

Primitive Sundials 87 

in the little chapel of Ease, in the village of Levisham. 
It bears a cross and a rope ornamentation, and may 
possibly be of pre-Norman origin, although it was 
being used as a cattle trough in a neighbouring farm- 
yard before the restoration in 1 884. The parish church 
of Levisham, standing alone in the valley below the 
village, has a very narrow and unadorned chancel arch. 
This may possibly belong to Saxon or very early 
Norman times, but Mr Joseph Morris l has pointed out 
that a similar one occurs at Scawton, which is known 
to have been built in 1 146, and the evidence of a Saxon 
stone built into the south-east corner of the chancel of 
Levisham church supports my belief in the later date. 
On the south wall of the chancel of Lockton church I 
have seen a roughly shaped oblong stone bearing in one 
corner the markings of a very rude sundial, and I find 
that there is another on the wall of a cottage in the 
same village. 2 I am unable to give its position, but from 
a drawing I have examined, it appears to be of more 
careful workmanship than the one built into the church 
wall. At Sinnington church another of these very 
crude sundials has been discovered, and what may 
be part of a similar one is high up on the east wall of 
the chancel of Ellerburne church. At Kirby Moorside 
a fine cross with interlaced work is built into the porch of 
the vicarage. At Wykeham there is a very plain cross of 
uncertain age, and Ellerburne, Lastingham, Sinnington, 

1 Morris, J. E. : " The North Riding of Yorkshire," p. 33. 

2 Illustrated, facing p. 209, " Associated Architectural Societies' Reports," 
vol. xii. 1873. 

The Evolution of an English Town 

Kirkdale, Kirby Misperton, and Middleton are all rich 
in carved crosses and incised slabs. Pickering church 
only possesses one fragment of stone work that we may 
safely attribute to a date prior to the Conquest. It seems 
to be part of the shaft or of an arm of a cross, and bears 
one of the usual types of dragon as well as knot or 
interlaced ornament. The font, which has been thought 
by some to be of Saxon origin, seems to be formed from 

The one on the left shows a Crucifixion. 

part of the inverted base of a pillar, and though com- 
posed of old material, probably dates in its present form 
of a font from as recent a period as the restoration of 
Charles II., the original font having been destroyed in 
Puritan times (Chapter X.). It would appear that 
when it was decided to build a large Norman church 
at Pickering the desire to put up a building that 
would be a great advance on the previous structure 
for we cannot suppose that Pickering was without a 
church in Saxon times led to the destruction of every 
trace of the earlier building. 

Hinderwell mentions a curious legend in connection 
with the cave in a small conical hill at Ebberston, that 
has since been destroyed. The country people called 

"Ilfrid's Hole" 89 

it Ilfrid's Hole, the tradition being that a Saxon king 
of that name took shelter there when wounded after a 
battle. An inscription that was formerly placed above 
the cave said : " Alfrid, King of Northumberland, was 
wounded in a bloody battle near this place, and was 
removed to Little Driffield, where he lies buried ; hard 
by his entrenchments may be seen." The roughly 
built stone hut with a domed roof that now crowns 
the hill is within twenty yards of the site of the cave, 
and was built by Sir Charles Hotham in 1790 to pre- 
serve the memory of this legendary king. 

In the period that lay between the conversion of 
Northumbria to Christianity in 627, and the ravages of 
Dane and Northman in the ninth and tenth centuries, 
we know by the traces that survive that the Saxons 
built a church in each of their villages, and that they 
placed beautifully sculptured crosses above the graves of 
their dead. The churches were small and quite simple 
in plan, generally consisting of a nave and chancel, with 
perhaps a tower at the west end. Owing to the 
importance of Pickering the Saxon church may have 
been a little in advance of the rest, and its tower may 
have been ornamented as much as that of Earl's Barton, 
but we are entering the dangerous realms of conjecture, 
and must be reconciled to that one fragment of a pre- 
Norman cross that is now carefully preserved in the 
south aisle of the present building. 


The Forest and Vale in Norman Times 
A.D. 1066-1154 

IN the early years of the reign of William L, when 
the northern counties rose against his rule, the 
Pickering district seems to have required more 
drastic treatment than any other. In 1069 the Con- 
queror spent the winter in the north of England, and 
William of Malmesbury describes how "he ordered 
the towns and fields of the whole district to be laid 
waste; the fruits and grain to be destroyed by fire 
or by water . . . thus the resources of a once 
flourishing province were cut off, by fire, slaughter, 
and devastation ; the ground for more than sixty miles, 
totally uncultivated and unproductive, remains bare to 
the present day." This is believed to have been 
written about 1135, and would give us grounds for 
believing that the desolation continued for over sixty 
years. A vivid light is thrown on the destruction 
wrought at Pickering by the record in the Domesday 
Book, which is as follows : 

" In Picberinga there are to be taxed thirty-seven 
carucates of land, which twenty ploughs may till. 
Morcar held this for one manor, with its berewicks 

The Vengeance of the Conqueror 91 

Bartune (Barton), Neuuctune (Newton), Blandebi 
(Blandsby) and Estorp (Easthorp). It is now the 
king's. There is therein one plough and twenty 
villanes with six ploughs ; meadow half a mile long 
and as much broad : but all the wood which belongs 
to the manor is sixteen miles long and four broad. 
This manor in the time of King Edward was valued 
at fourscore and eight pounds ; now at twenty shillings 
and four-pence." a 

This remarkable depreciation from ^88 to i 
and 4d. need not be, as Bawdwen thought, a 
mistake in the original, but an ample proof of the 
vengeance of the Conqueror. All the lands belonging 
to the powerful Saxon Earls Edwin and Morcar seem 
to have suffered much the same fate. 

The Domesday account also mentions that 
" To this manor belongs the soke of these lands, 
viz. : Brunton (Brompton), Odulfesmarc ( ), 

Edbr'vztune (Ebberston), Alnestune (Allerston), Wtltune 
(Wilton), Farmanesbl (Farmanby), Rozebi (Roxby), 
Chinetorp (Kinthorp), Chllnesmares ( ), 

As chile smares ( ), Maxudcsmares ( ), 

Snechintune (Snainton), Cbigogemers ( ), 

Elreburne (Ellerburne), Torentune (Thornton), Leuccen 
(Levisham), Middehtun (Middleton) and Bartune 
(Barton). In the whole there are fifty carucates to 
be taxed, which twenty-seven ploughs may till. There 
are now only ten villanes, having two ploughs: the 

1 " Dom Boc," the Yorkshire Domesday. The Rev. Wm. Bawdwen, 
1809, p. ii 

92 The Evolution of an English Town 

rest is waste ; yet there are twenty acres of meadow. 
The whole length is sixteen miles and the breadth 

The unrecognisable names all end in mare, mares 
or mers, suggesting that they were all on the marshes 
and Bawdwen is probably incorrect in calling Locte- 
mares Low-moors. Associated with each place the 
Domesday record gives the names of the former 

I give them in tabular form : 






























Low-moors or marshes 
















?) Kirby Moorside 

? ) Kirkdale 







Torbrand, Gospatric 

and Tor 


Ulf and Cnut 









Spoiling the Saxons 93 


Dalbi Dalby Gamel 

Sevenicton (?) Sinnington Torbrand 

Hotun Hutton-le-hole or Torbrant 

Hutton Buscel 

Atun Ayton Gamel 

Micheledestun Great Edstone 

Parva Edestun Little Edstone Torbrant 

Mispeton, now Kirby Belonging to Chirchebi 

The number of ploughs, of oxgangs and carucates, 
and of villanes and bordars in each manor is given in 
Domesday, but to give each extract in full would 
take up much space and would be a little wearisome. 

We know that the impoverished country was, 
like the rest of England, given by the Conqueror to 
his followers. The village of Hutton Buscel obtains 
its name from the Buscel family which came over to 
England with William the Norman. Hinderwell, 
quoting 1 from some unnamed source, tells us that 
"Reginald Buscel (whose father came over with the 
Conqueror) married Alice, the sister of William, 
Abbot of Whitby, and at the time of his marriage, 
gave the church of Hotun, which his father had built, 
to the monastery of Whitby." This was before the 
year 1 1 54, and the lower part of the tower of the 
present church of Hutton Buscel, being of Norman 
date, may belong to that early building. 

On Vivers Hill to the east of the village of Kirby 
Moorside there are indications among the trees of what 
is believed to have been the castle of the Stutevilles. 

1 Thomas Hinderwell : " History of Scarborough," p. 331. 

94 The Evolution of an English Town 

Robert de Stuteville is said to have come over with the 
Conqueror, and to have received land at Kirby Moor- 
side as a reward for his services. 

The country having received the full fury of 
William's wrath very slowly recovered its prosperity 
under Norman rulers. On the slope of the hills all the 
way from Scarborough to Helmsley, castles began to 
make their appearance, and sturdy Norman churches 
were built in nearly every village. 

The great Norman keep of Scarborough Castle with 
its shattered side still frowns above the holiday crowds 
of that famous seaside resort, but of the other strong- 
holds of the district built in this castle-building age it is 
not easy to speak with certainty. But the evidences of 
Norman work are fairly plain at Pickering Castle, and 
there seems little doubt that a fortress of some strength 
was built at this important point to overawe the in- 
habitants. Mr G.T. Clark in his " Mediaeval Military 
Architecture " l says that he considers Pickering Castle 
to represent " one great type of Anglo-Norman fortress 
that is, a castle of Norman masonry upon an English 
earthwork, for the present walls, if not Norman, are 
unquestionably laid on Norman lines." He thinks that 
the earthworks would be taken possession of and 
fortified either late in the eleventh or early in the 
twelfth century, and that the keep, the chief part of the 
curtain walls, and the Norman door near the northwest 
corner are remains of this building. The gateways 

1 George T Clark : " Mediaeval Military Architecture in England," 
P- 37*- 


The arches on the nonh side are of much simpler Norman work. The nearest painting shows the story 
of the legendary St Kaiherine of Alexandria. \Tfu Copyright is reserved by Dr John L. Kirk. 

The Building of Pickering Church 95 

may be Norman or they may belong to the time of 
Richard II. (1377-99)* but Mr Clark inclines to the 
earlier date. It is possible that the Norman doorway 
just mentioned may have been an entrance to one of 
the towers mentioned by Leland but now completely 
lost sight of. The architrave has a beaded angle orna- 
mented with pointed arches repeated, and if it is of late 
Norman date it is the only part of the castle which Mr 
Clark considers to be " distinctly referable to that 

There is no doubt at all that the arcades of the 
present nave of Pickering church were built at this 
time, and the lower part of the tower is also of Norman 
date. The north arcade is earlier than that on the 
south side, having perfectly plain semi-circular arches 
and massive columns with fluted capitals. On the 
south the piers are much more ornate, the contrast 
being very plainly seen in the photograph repro- 
duced here. 

To have necessitated such a spacious church at this 
time, Pickering must have been a populous town; 
possibly it grew on account of the safety afforded by 
the castle, and it seems to indicate the importance of 
the place in the time of the Norman kings. 

One of the most complete little Norman churches 
in Yorkshire is to be seen at Salton, a village about six 
miles south-west of Pickering. It appears to have 
been built at the beginning of the twelfth century, and 
afterwards to have suffered from fire, parts of the walls 
by their redness showing traces of having been burnt. 

96 The Evolution of an English Town 

A very thorough restoration has given the building a 


It is ornamented with very curious double beak-heads. In the upper corners are given two of 
the curious corbels on the south side of the nave. 

rather new aspect, but this does not detract from the 
interest of the church. The chancel arch is richly 

Early Norman Ornament 


ornamented with two patterns of zig-zag work, the 
south door of the nave has a peculiar decoration 
of double beak-heads, and though some of the early 


The crude carving suggests Saxon work, and it was possibly the production of Saxon masons 
under Norman supervision. 

windows have been replaced by lancets, a few of the 
Norman slits remain. Middleton church has already 
been mentioned as containing what appears to be a 
Saxon doorway in the tower. This may have been 

98 The Evolution of an English Town 

saved from an earlier building together with the lower 
part of the tower, but if it did not come into existence 
before the conquest the tower and nave were built in 
early Norman times. The south arcade probably be- 
longs to the latest phase of Transitional Norman archi- 
tecture, if not the commencement of the early English 
period. Running along the west and north walls of 
the north aisle is a stone bench, an unusual feature 
even in Norman churches. 

Ellerburne church has some very interesting 
Norman work in the chancel arch. The ornament is 
so crude that it would seem as though very primitive 
Saxon workmen had been working under Norman 
influence, for, while the masonry is plainly of the 
Norman period, the ornament appears to belong to an 
earlier time. There must have been a church at 
Normanby at this period, for the south door of the 
present building is Norman. Sinnington church also 
belongs to this time. The Norman chancel arch was 
taken down many years ago, but the stones having 
been preserved in the church it was found possible to 
replace them in their original position at the Restoration 
in 1904. There are remains of three doorways in- 
cluding the blocked one at the west end. The south 
doorway is Transitional Norman, and is supposed to 
have been added about 1180. The porch and present 
chancel belong to the thirteenth century, but during the 
Restoration some interesting relics of the earlier Norman 
chancel were discovered in the walls of the fabric that 
replaced it. A small stone coffin containing human 

An Underground Church 


remains with several wild boars' tusks and a silver 
wire ring was found in the nave. 

It is a complete little underground church, having nave, apse, and aisles. 

Lastingham church as it now stands is only part of 
the original Transitional Norman church, for there are 
evidences that the nave extended to the west of the 

i oo The Evolution of an English Town 

present tower which was added in the fifteenth century. 
It appears that the western part of the nave was 
destroyed or injured not many years after its erection, 
and that the eastern part was repaired in early English 
times. The chancel with its vaulted roof and circular 
apse, and the crypt beneath, are of the same date as the 
original nave, and though the capitals of the low 
columns in the crypt might be thought to be of earlier 
work, expert opinion places them at the same Tran- 
sitional Norman date. The crypt has a nave, apse 
and aisles, and is therefore a complete little underground 
church. Semi-circular arches between the pillars support 
the plain vaulting only a few feet above one's head, 
and the darkness is such that it requires a little time to 
be able to see the foliage and interlaced arches of the 
capitals surmounting the squat columns. 

At Brompton the Perpendicular church contains 
evidences of the building of this period that once 
existed there, in the shape of four Norman capitals, two 
of them built into the east wall of the south aisle and 
two in the jambs of the chancel arch. In the massive 
walls of the lower part of the tower there may also be 
remains of the Norman building. 

At the adjoining village of Snainton the old church 
was taken down in 1835, but the Norman stones of 
the south doorway of the nave have been re-erected, 
and now form an arch in an adjoining wall. 
The font of the same period having been found in a 
garden, was replaced in the church on a new base in 
1893. In Edstone church the Norman font, with a 

Norman Work in the Villages 101 

simple arcade pattern running round the circular base, is 
still to be seen, and at Levisham the very plain chancel 
arch mentioned in the preceding chapter is also of 
Norman work. Allerston church has some pieces of 
zig-zag ornament built into the north wall, and 
Ebberston church has a slit window on the north 
side of the chancel, and the south door built in Norman 
times. The nave arcade at 
Ebberston may belong to the 
Transitional Norman period 
and the font also. 

Most of the churches in 
the neighbourhood of Picker- 
ing are, therefore, seen to have 
either been built in the Norman 
age or to possess fragments of 
the buildings that were put up 
in that period. The difficulty 
of preventing the churches from 
being too cold was met in some 
degree by having no windows on the north side as at 
Sinnington, and those windows that faced the other 
cardinal points were sufficiently small to keep out the 
extremes of temperature. 

The written records belonging to the Norman 
period of the history of Pickering seem to have largely 
disappeared, so that with the exception of the Domes- 
day Book, and a few stray references to people or 
places in this locality, we are largely dependent on the 
buildings that have survived those tempestuous years. 

The Norman font at Ed stone. 

ro2 The Evolution of an English Town 

Pickering appears to have been a royal possession 
during the whole of this time, and it is quite probable 
that the Norman kings hunted in the forest and lodged 
with their Courts in the castle, for a writ issued by 
Henry I. is dated at Pickering. 


The Forest and Vale In the Time of the Plantagenets 
A.D. 1 1 54 to 1485 

THE story of these three centuries is told to a most 
remarkable extent in the numerous records of 
the Duchy of Lancaster relating to the mainten- 
ance of the royal Forest of Pickering. They throw a 
clear light on many aspects of life at Pickering, and by 
picking out some of the more picturesque incidents 
recorded we may see to what extent the severe forest 
laws kept in check the poaching element in the neigh- 
bourhood. We can also discover some incidents in 
connection with the visits of some of the English kings 
to the royal forest of Pickering, as well as matters 
relating to the repair of the castle. 

In the Parliament of 1295, in Edward I.'s reign, 
Pickering, for the first and only occasion, sent repre- 
sentatives to the national assembly. The parliamentary 
return states x that the persons returned on that occasion 

were Robertus Turcock 

Robertus Turcock, 

but whether this is a mistake by the recorder or 

1 G. R. Park, "The Parliamentary Representation of Yorkshire, 1886," 
pp. 266 and 283. 


The Evolution of an English Town 

whether two men of the same name were returned is 

Among the High Sheriffs of Yorkshire in the 
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were 

1390 Richard II. Jacobus de Pykering. 

J 394 

I39 8 . 

1432 Henry VI. Sir Richard de Pykering. 

1450 Sir James de Pykering knt. 

In 1311 Johannes de Cropton was one of the 
members for Scarborough in Edward II.'s Parliament of 
that year. 

Pickering was held as royal property by William 
the Conqueror, and with a few short intervals it has 
remained crown property until the present day. It is 
therefore no matter for surprise to find that several of 
the Plantagenet kings came to hunt in the forest. It 
appears to have been a royal possession in the time of 
Henry I., and also in February 1201, when King John 
visited the castle, 1 for a charter granted by him to the 
nuns of Wykeham is dated at Pickering. In 1248 
William Lord d'Acre was made keeper of the castle, 
but towards the close of his reign Henry III. (1216- 
1272) gave the castle, manor, and forest of Pickering to 
his son Edmund Crouchback, and from him the 
property has descended through the Lancastrian branch 
of the royal family, so that it now forms part of the 
possessions of the Duchy of Lancaster. 

1 Young's " History of Whitby," vol. ii. p. 733. 

The Scottish Raid 105 

From other records we find that King John was 
also at Pickering for at least a day in August 1208 
and in March 1210. 

In 1261 Pickering Castle was held against Henry 
III. by Hugh le Bigod, and some of the wardrobe 
accounts of the reign of Edward II. have reference to a 
visit to Pickering. The place must have had painful 
memories for the king in connection with the capture 
of his favourite Piers Gaveston at Scarborough Castle 
in 1312. This visit was, however, separated from 
that fateful event by eleven years. 

"3 August 1323, at Pickering. Paid to William 
Hunt, the King's huntsman, by way of gift at the 
direction of Harsike i ; to Agnes, wife of Roger 
de Mar, porter of the chamber, gift los. : to Guillot 
de la Pittere, groom of the Queen's chamber, gift 1 ; 
to Dighton Wawayn, valet of Robert Wawayn, 
carrying letters from his master to the king, gift 2s. 
To John, son of Ibote of Pickering, who followed 
the king a whole day when he hunted the stag in 
Pickering chase, gift by order los. ; to Walter de 
Seamer, Mariner, keeper of the ship called the Magdalen, 
of which Cook atte Wose was master, a gift, the 
money being given to John Harsike to give him 


"23 August, at Egginton, on Blakey Moor. 
Paid to Sir Roger de Felton, Knight of the King's 
Chamber, for his ransom at the time when he was 
taken by the Scots at Rievaulx in company with the 
Earl of Richmond, in October, 1322, a gift by the 

io6 The Evolution of an English Town 

hands of John Harsike, who delivered the money to 
Sir Roger in the King's presence. ^"100. 

" To Edmund Dorney, the King's palfreyman, who 
always followed the King when he hunted i. 

" 3 1 August, at Glascowollehouse. Paid to Ernest, 
running footman of Sir Robert del Idle, who carried 
letters to the King, a gift 6s. 8d. ; to Dan Thomas 
de Broghton, monk of Rievaulx, to buy him a coat, 
a gift i os." 

The entries show that the king journeyed to 
Whorlton Castle to stay with Nicholas de Meynell. 
He seems to have gone by way of Lockton and 
Spaunton Moor, and appears to have stayed a night 
at Danby. The accounts mention an amount paid on 
September I st to certain foresters' servants who set the 
king's nets to take roe-deer in Whorlton Park, and we 
also discover that the day's sport was varied by the 
singing of Alice the red-haired and Alice de Whorlton, 
who gave " Simon de Montfort " and other songs 
before the king, and received a gift of 45. 

The poor of Pickering profited by the royal visits. 
Here are two items in the accounts. 

" 26 September [1323] at Skipton. Paid, by order 
of the King, to Lorchon Sewer alms distributed by 
the King at Pickering 3d." 

In 1334 Edward III. was more generous than his 
predecessor, for we find "26 May. Alms to Sir Walter 
de London, King's Almoner, for food for 100 poor 
on the feast of Corpus Christi at Pickering, at the 
hands of his clerk Henry I2S. 6d." 

Hostages sent to Scotland 107 

During the hunting in the forest a hound was lost 
and recovered as follows : 

" June, (at Beverley), given to Robert de Bridge- 
gate, leading to the King a hound lost at Pickering, 
a gift the same day 6s. 8d." 

The reference to the Scottish raid as far south as 
Rievaulx Abbey touches an event of great interest. In 
1322 the Scots, led by Robert Bruce, had entered 
England and plundered many places, including the 
splendid Cistercian monastery just mentioned, and the 
following record shows that the Vale of Pickering 
purchased immunity for 300 marks. 

" John Topcliffe Rector of Semer Wm. Wyern & 
John Wickham with others of Pickering with the 
assent of the whole community, on Tuesday I3th 
Oct. 1322 purchased from Robert Bruce through 
the Earl of Moray for 300 marks, to be paid at 
Berwick, half at Candlemas next & the other half at 
Trinity next, the immunity of the Vale of Pickering 
from the River Seven on the west to the sea on the 
east. Further they say that Nich 8 Haldane, Wm. 
Hastings and John Manneser, at the request of the 
men of the whole community, surrendered at Rievaulx 
to Robert Bruce on Saturday the iyth of Oct. 
following, to sojourn as hostages in Scotland until the 
300 marks were paid. Further they say that the 300 
marks are still unpaid, for afterwards the men of the 
community refused payment and once for all. Further 
they said that the said Nicholas William and John are 
still in prison in Scotland, and all the men and all 

io8 The Evolution of an English Town 

townships, manors, hamlets, lands and tenements of the 
said Vale within the bounds aforesaid were preserved 
from all damage and injury whatsoever through the 
above-mentioned ransom." 

From the Chronicle of John Hardyng we find that 
Richard II. was imprisoned at Pickering before being 
taken to Knaresborough, and finally to Pontefract. The 
lines in his quaint verse must have been written 
between 1436 and 1465. 

"The Kyng the[n] sent Kyng Richard to Ledis, 

There to be kepte surely in previtee, 
Fro the[n]s after to Pykeryng we[n]t he nedes, 

And to Knauesburgh after led was he, 
But to Pountfrete last where he did die." l 

There seems little doubt that the story of the 
murder of the king at Pontefract Castle by Sir Piers 
Exton is untrue, but " nothing is certainly known of 
the time, place, or manner of his death." 

The records of the Coucher Book contain a mass 
of interesting and often entertaining information con- 
cerning the illicit removals of oak trees from the forest, 
hunting and killing the royal deer and other animals, 
as well as many other offences. 

At the forest Eyre, a sort of assizes, held at Picker- 
ing in 1334 to deal with a great accumulated mass of 
infringements on the rights of the forest, the first case 
is against Sir John de Melsa, Lord of Levisham, who 
was, according to the jury, " in the habit of employing 
men to make and burn charcoal out of browsewood 

1 The Chronicle of John Hardyng, edited by Henry Ellis, 1812, p. 356. 

Annoying the King's Deer 109 

and dry sticks in his woods at Levisham, which are 
now within the bounds of the forest, and he exposes 
the charcoal for sale, injuring the lord and annoying 
the deer, by what right they know not. Sir John is 
summoned, appears, and pleads that he and his ancestors 
and the tenants of the Manor of Levisham have from 
ancient time taken the browsewood and dry sticks in 
the said woods and burnt them into charcoal, and 
afterwards exposed them for sale, and given them 
away at pleasure as part of his and their manorial 
rights. He asks that the officers of the forest may try 
the question. As it clearly appears to the Court by 
the answer of Sir John that he is making a claim to 
take a profit in the forest which he did not claim on 
the first day of the Eyre, as the custom is, and as 
proclamation was made, judgment is given that the 
liberty be seized into the Lord's hands, and Sir John is 
to answer for its value in the meantime. Afterwards 
Sir John appears, and prays that he may be allowed to 
pay a composition for making his claim, and a com- 
position of 6s. 8d. is fixed. Surety, Richard de Naulton. 
The jury also present that a bridge called Friar Bridge, 
beyond the Costa, across which people are wont to 
pass on horseback and on foot going from Pickering to 
Malton, is in such bad repair that people cannot pass 
over, but have to make a divergence of about a mile 
and a half in the forest, treading down and injuring 
the pasturage of the deer. The Abbot of Rievaulx 
and all Abbots of that place are bound to repair it. 
He is summoned, appears, and does not deny that he 

1 1 o The Evolution of an English Town 

and they are bound to repair it, but he says that the 
bridge is not in such bad repair that people cannot pass 
over it as they are wont and ought to do without doing 
harm to any one. He asks that an inquiry may be 
made by the officers of the forest. An inquiry is 
directed. The foresters, verderers, and regarders, sworn 
and charged, say on their oaths, that after the summons 
for the Eyre was issued, the bridge was in such bad 
repair that people being unable to pass over it made a 
divergence into the forest, annoying the Lord's deer 
and treading down their pasturage. Afterwards the 
Abbot repaired it so that it requires nothing further, 
and people can quite well pass over it. Therefore as 
to the present repair of the bridge the Abbot is acquitted, 
but he is to be amerced because he did not repair it 

" The jury also present that the present Prior of 
Bridlington erected a sheepfold at Newland in the 
forest, 100 feet long and 12 feet broad, injuring 
thereby the Lord's deer, notwithstanding that on 
another occasion at the last Eyre of the Justices the 
sheepfold was ordered to be taken down. By what 
right they know not. The Prior appears and prays 
to be allowed to compound with the Lord, and that 
he and his successors may rent the sheepfold in per- 
petuity, inasmuch as it no longer injures the deer. 
Since the foresters, verderers, and regarders prove that 
it is so the Prior is permitted to compound by the pay- 
ment of 135. 4d. (surety Ralph de Morton), and he is 
likewise given a grant for ever of the sheepfold at a 



Z M 

I s 8j2 

rt c'S 
I P 


d ^* 

< 5 & 

^ -SS 

w ti* 

The Prioress and the Bridge 1 1 1 

yearly rent of 6d. at Michaelmas. The Prior is to 
hold it for ever quit of regard. The jury also present 
that the bridge and road of Pul within the forest, which 
are common highways for carriages, carts, drifts, and 
packsaddles are in such bad repair that none can pass 
over them. The Prior of the Hospital of St John, 
by reason of his tenure of lands which formerly 
belonged to the Knights Templars, and the Prioress of 
Yedingham, are bound to repair and maintain them. 
They are summoned. The Prioress appears in person, 
the Prior by his attorney, Walter de Trusseley. The 
Prioress says that neither she nor any of her predecessors 
ever from ancient time repaired or ought to repair it, 
because she says that the Prior, by reason of his tenure 
of the lands which belonged to the Templars, is bound 
to repair and maintain the bridge and road as often as 
need requires, in the same way that the Templars, 
before the abolition of their Order, from ancient time, 
by reason of their tenure of their lands at Foulbridge, 
which the Prior now holds, repaired and maintained 
the bridge and road. She asks that an inquiry may 
be directed." The Prior, by his attorney, denies most 
of the charges seriatim, but the judgment of the Court 
is that " the Prior be distrained to compel him to repair 
and make good the bridge and road to the east, and is 
to be amerced because he has not done it sooner, and 
the Prioress is to be acquitted because the road to the 
west of the bridge is not at present out of repair." 

This is a typical example of the manner of recording 
these quarrels over responsibilities and delinquencies in 


The Evolution of an English Town 

connection with the forest, each side seeming to deny 
in detail most of the charges brought forward. Most 
of the cases relating to the stealing of oaks and brush- 
wood and to poaching matters generally are compounded 

The following is a case of officers of the forest 
making themselves a nuisance with the local people. 
" The jury also present that whereas John de Monmouth 
has 20 s [? a year], a toft and two oxgangs of land, with 
the appurtenances in Pickering, John Scot 3o 8 a year, 
and William Courtman 5* at the Earl's expense for 
being fosterers in the West Ward [of Pickering Forest], 
yet they surcharge all the inhabitants with their living 
and that of their servants, annoying the country. 
They are summoned, appear, and compound. . . . 
The jury also present that Richard Cockard of 
Helmsley, John de Harlay, and William Gower, 
forester, of Scalby, Langdale, and Fullwood, under 
colour of their office, collect sheaves in autumn and wool 
and keep servants on board in the country. They are 
summoned, appear, and make composition. . . ." 
" The jury also present that John de Shirburn drew the 
timber of a house in Pickering within the forest of 
Shirburn without the forest, and John Beal of West 
Heslerton drew the timber of a barn in Pickering 
within the boundery of the forest to West Heslerton 
without the forest, and John de Shirburn and Thomas 
Bret likewise drew the timber of a house at Pickering 
within the boundaries of the forest to Shirburn without 
the forest, injuring the Earl and contrary to the assize 

The Clergy are convicted of Theft 113 

of the forest. They are summoned, appear, and each 
makes composition." 

" Henry the Fowler, of Barugh, Adam the Fowler, 
of Ayton, William Hare and William Fox, catch birds 
in the forest by means of birdlime-nets and other con- 
trivances." The Clergy were frequently involved in 
the taking of timber from the forest. " Robert de 
Hampton, Rector of Middleton, took at different times 
three green oaks below Cropton Castle, and on a third 
occasion took there a green oak, without the demesne, 
without livery of the foresters or warrant. 

" In mercy : 

" The Abbot of Whitby took a green oak in Goath- 
land within the demesne, value 3 d , and was let out on 
bail. He has not surrendered and does not appear 
to judgment with his bail, and he is responsible for 
the value and a fine of 3 s . Afterwards it appears 
that his bail are dead, so proceedings against them are 

" Eldred of Ellerburne, deceased, carried ofF a green 
oak within the demesne, value 7 d . His successor, 
Edmund de Hastings, is responsible for its value, a fine 
of 7 d and also y d , the value of vert likewise taken in the 

" Hugh, Vicar of Ebberston, deceased, took a green 
oak without the demesne without livery of the foresters 
or warrant; John, son of Geoffrey, and John de la 
Chymyne, his executors, are responsible. 

" The Lady Beatrice of Farmanby, deceased, took 
a green oak without the demesne, without livery of the 

1 14 The Evolution of an English Town 

foresters or warrant. Her successor, William Hastings, 
is responsible. 

" The Rector of Brompton, deceased, felled two green 
oaks without the demesne, without livery of foresters or 
warrant. The same persons responsible. 

" The Preceptor of Foulbridge felled and carried 
away four green oaks in fence month. The Prior of 
the Hospital of St John is responsible. 

" The Prioress of Wykeham claims for herself and 
her tenants in Wykeham and Ruston to receive and take 
housebote and hedgebote in the woods of North Cave 
heads and Barley, according to the assize of the forest, 
and common of pasture for all animals except goats in 
the same woods and the wastes and moors adjoining, 
that is to say, northwards from Yarlesike. . . . The 
Justices consider that before allowing her claims an 
inqury should be made as to how the Prioress and 
her predecessors have exercised their rights." 

" Sir John de Meaux claims to have housebote and 
hedgebote for himself, his men and tenants of Levisham 
in his woods of Levisham, in accordance with the 
assize of the forest, and reasonable estovers of turves in his 
demesnes of Levisham, for himself, his men and his 
tenants, and ironstone and a smelting-place in his woods 
of Levisham, paying to the Earl an annual rent of 2 s 
and aeries of falcons, merlins and sparrow-hawk, and 
whatever honey is found in his woods at Levisham, 
and he claims to have a woodward in such woods. 
He is ready to prove that all these rights having been 
exercised by himself and his ancestors from ancient 

Hunting the " Wildcat " 115 

time, the housebote and hedgebote being appurtenant 
to his free tenement in Levisham, and brousewood and 
dry wood being taken to feed his furnaces. An 
inquiry is directed, and it is found that Sir John and his 
ancestors have from ancient time enjoyed the rights so 
claimed without interruption. Judgment is given in 
accordance with the verdict." 

" Ralph de Bulmer claims to have a free park at 
Thornton Riseborough, and to keep hounds to hunt 
there. He claims that King John by deed granted to 
one Alan de Winton, then holder of the park, and his 
heirs, liberty to inclose and make a free park, and to 
keep his hounds to hunt there ; by virtue whereof Alan, 
whose estate he now holds, exercised the rights. He 
says that Edward II. inspected the grant of John, and 
granted to Ralph, that he and his heirs might hold the 
park with its appurtenances as Alan held it, without 
let or hindrance on the part of the King or his Justices, 
Escheators, Sheriffs, or other bailiffs, or officers 

" Thomas de Pickering and Margaret, his wife, 
claim to have a woodward to keep their demesne 
wood at Lockton, and that no one may lop branches 
therein or fell any tree without their consent, and 
that they may fell and give away at pleasure green 
trees and dry, and give and sell dry trees at pleasure 
without view of the foresters." In the following 
claim a mention is made of the " wildcat." " Thomas 
Wake of Liddell claims to have a free chase for fox, 
hare, wildcat, and badger, within the boundaries of his 

1 1 6 The Evolution of an English Town 

barony of Middleton, namely, from the place called 
Alda on the Costa to the standing stone above the 
Spital Myre of Pickering, etc." 

"Hugh de Nevill is indicted, for that whilst he 
was bailiff of Pickering, under colour of his office, 
he arrested one Robert the Dyer, lately residing in 
Ebberston, bound his hands as if he were a felon, 
though he had not been indicted, and took from him 
a horse, harness, and other goods and chattels to the 
value of 2O 8 . Afterwards he entrusted him to the 
care of his servant to take to York, but when they 
reached Malton, the servant let his prisoner escape. 

" Henry de Rippley, sub-bailiff of Pickering, fined 
for having seized goods and chattels of Sir Robert de 
Scarborough, at Ebberston, for which he was indicted 
and found guilty on his own confession, 3 s 4 d ." 

A case in which the poachers showed their total 
disregard for the officers of the forest is given as 

" Stephen son of Richard of Eskdale, Nicholas the 
Taylor of Whitby, and John de Moorsholm of Sneaton 
Thorpe, were indicted for having, on Wednesday 23rd 
March 1334, at Blakey Moor [near Saltersgate], with- 
in the forest, hunted with bows, arrows and grey- 
hounds, and taken sixty-six harts and hinds, of which 
they cut off the heads of nine and fixed them upon 
stakes in the Moor." 

" As regards those who caught hares and wandered 
in the forest with bows and arrows contrary to the assize 
of the forest, Mathilda de Bruys is accustomed to hunt 

The Pillory in Pickering Town 117 

and catch hares." She compounded for 5% Robert 
Bruce and John Perot being sureties. 

The Coucher Book mentions that Henry I. issued 
a writ dated at Pickering. This would suggest that 
Pickering Castle was standing between 1 100 and 1 135, 
for the king would scarcely have visited the place 
unless he had had proper quarters for himself and his 
suite, and the castle alone could have afforded this. A 
record of 1347 mentions the pillory at Pickering, and 
suggests a lively scene that took place in the august 
presence of the Earl of Lancaster. " William de 
Kirkby and others conspired amongst themselves to 
indict John de Buckton, Hugh de Neville, John de 
Barton, and others for that they on Monday, 2jth June 
1347, took six harts in Pickering Forest and set up the 
head of one in the sight of the Earl of Lancaster upon 
the pillory in Pickering town, in consequence of which 
John de Buckton, Hugh de Neville and John de 
Barton were taken and imprisoned in Pickering Castle 
and suffered great loss of their goods. Afterwards, in 
the same town, William appeared in the King's Bench 
and asked to be allowed to compound for the offences 
presented against him, as well as those to which he had 
already pleaded as the rest. The request was granted, 
and he paid the fine entered in the rolls." 

" The jurors of the several wappentakes of York- 
shire presented that David de Wigan and others on 
Wednesday, nth July 1 347, violently entered by night 
the house of Thomas, Vicar of Ebberston, seized him 
and led him to Pickering Castle until he compounded 

1 1 8 The Evolution of an English Town 

with them for ^2, though," adds the record, u he had 
never been indicted for any offence " (!) This David 
de Wigan must have terrorised the neighbourhood at 
this time, for he and others scarcely a week later " seized 
Adam del Selley Bridge at Selley Bridge [near Marishes 
Road Station] and led him with them until he com- 
pounded with them for ^4." On the same Tuesday 
they violently seized Robert de Sunley at Calvecote 
and led him to Pickering Castle until he paid 2. On 
the 3Cth July Thomas Oliver of Sawdon was taken in 
the same manner and detained for five days. After all 
this David was summoned and he pleaded guilty. By 
trustworthy witnesses, however, it was proved that he 
was penniless and had nothing wherewith to satisfy the 
king for his offences, and " having regard to the state 
of his health and condition he was let off." We wonder 
what the Vicar of Ebberston thought of this lenient 
treatment of such a Barabbas. Geoffrey de Wrighting- 
ton, a late bailiff of Pickering, seems to have taken part 
in these offences, and he was also responsible for having 
seized Hugh de Neville in Pickering Church, and for 
having imprisoned him " in the depths of the gaol in 
iron fetters for seven weeks, though Hugh had never 
been indicted." John Scott of Pickering also spent 
nine weeks in prison at the pleasure of this desperate 
fellow. On the 3Oth August 1346 he took ^4 by 
force from Henry de Acaster, the vicar of Pickering, 
when he was journeying between Coneysthorpe and 
Appleton le Street. His methods are well shown by 
the following. a Geoffrey also on Sunday, I7th 

Highway Robbers 119 

September 1346, seized Adam de Selley Bridge by 
force at Pickering and imprisoned him until he had 
compounded with him for 6 [? ;], and when Adam 
paid the fine Geoffrey made him swear on the Book 
that he would tell no one how he came to pay the fine 
or to be imprisoned." After all this Geoffrey was let 
off with a fine when called to account three years 

In the minister's accounts for 1322 appear the 
" wages of a forester to keep Pickering Forest, a door- 
keeper and a watchman in the castle, each 2 d a day for 
34 weeks." There are references to thatch for the 
porter's lodge, the brewhouse, the kitchen, and small 
upper apartment within the castle. This thatching 
took a man three days with two women to help him 
all the time ; the man received 9 d and the women 2 d 
each for the work. 

The chaplain of the castle chapel received a yearly 
salary of ^3 ; repairs by contract to the seven glass 
windows in the chapel cost lod, and wine and lights 
2s. Under the heading of Small Expenses comes 
" making 14 hurdles to lie on the draw bridge and other 
bridges to preserve them from the cart-wheels I s ; 
making a hedge round the fishpond, cutting and 
carrying boughs, wages of the hedger 4 s 6 d ; 
making a long cord of hemp 20 ells long weighing 6 
stone of hemp for the Castle well 4 s 9 d ; burning 
after Feb. 2 old grass in Castle Ings that new grass 
may grow 8 d ; 8 men cutting holly, ivy and oak 
toughs in different parts of the forest for the deer in a 

1 20 The Evolution of an English Town 

time of snow and ice, 9 days at 2 d a day 12 s 2| d ; 
wages of a man sent to the king [Edward II.] with a 
letter from the bailiff to acquaint the king with certain 
secrets by letters of privy seal, going, residing there and 
returning, 9 days at 3 d a day for food and wages 

- 3 s 9 d. 

In the Close Rolls of 1324, there is an order to 
" John de Kelvington, keeper of the Castle and honor 
of Pickering, to cause to be newly constructed a barbican 
before the Castle gate with a stone wall and a gate 
with a drawbridge in the same, and beyond the gate 
a new chamber, a new postern gate by the King's 
Tower and a roof to a chamber near the small hall ; to 
cover with thin flags that roof and the roof of the small 
kitchen, to remove the old roof of the King's prison 
and to make an entirely new roof covered with lead, 
and to thoroughly point, both within and without, the 
walls of the castle and tower, . and to clean out and 
enlarge the Castle ditch. All this to be done out of 
the issues of the honor as the King has enjoined him 
by word of mouth, and the expense incurred therein 
when duly proved will be allowed him in his accounts. 
Pickering, loth August, 1323." 

About the year 1314 there is an item in the 
accounts of eighty planks bought at Easingwold and 
carried to the castle and laid in the gangway leading 
from the chamber of the Countess to the chapel. The 
nails for this work cost js. 6d. 

Soon after this comes the cost of the new hall in the 
castle. " Clearing, digging and levelling the place 

This is often called the Rosamund Tower, but the records call it the Dyet Tower. 

Building the Castle Hall 123 

within the castle where the bakehouse was burnt to 
build there a hall with a chamber I4 8 i^ d , building the 
stone wall of the hall and chamber, getting and carrying 
400 cartloads of stone, digging and carrying soil for 
mortar, buying 27 quarters of lime 5 19 s n d ; 
contract for joiners' work, wages for those employed to 
saw planks and joists, 152 planks for doors and 
windows, 80 large spikes, 600 spike nails, 1000 broad 
headed nails and 20,000 tacks, 22 hinges for the doors, 
28 hinges for the windows and 2600 laths with 
carriage for the same ^9 o 8 i^ d ; roofing the build- 
ings with thin flags by piece-work, collecting moss for 
the same [to stop up the crannies] plastering the floor of 
the upper room and several walls within the chamber, 
making a chimney piece of plaster of Paris (piastre 
parisiensi), together with the wages of the chaplain who 
was present at the building ^5 i 8 io d ." A few 
years later came some more repairs to the castle : " a 
carpenter 4 days mending the wind battered roof of 
the old hall with old shingles I s , 300 nails for that 
purpose 9 d ; a man I o days roofing with tin the small 
kitchen, the garderobe at the corner of the kitchen, 
the cellar, outside the new hall, within the tower and 
porter's lodge 2 s 6 d ." Hay and straw for the roofs 
was brought "from the Marsh to Pickering"; two men 
were employed to clean out the castle well which had 
been so blocked up as to become quite dry that year 
and another charge is for a new rope and for repairing 
the bucket of the well. 

In 1326 there is a reference to the King's patent 

i 24 The Evolution of an English Town 

writ, dated yth December, by which the Castle was 
committed by Edward II. "to his beloved cousin 
Henry, Earl of Lancaster," and the keeper, John de 
Kilvington, was "to deliver the Castle and Honour to 
the Earl together with its military stores, victuals and 
other things." 

From a small green-covered foolscap volume lent 
me by Mr Arthur Hill of Thorton-le-dale, I have taken 
the following description of the " Bounds of the Forest 
of Pickering, as far as the waters are concerned." 

" From How Bridge along the Rye to where the 
Seven falls into the Rye, the whole length of the Seven. 

" Wheeldale Beck to 

"Mirke Esk to 

" The Eske and along the Eske to where Lythe 
Beck falls into the Eske 

u Where the Derwent springs and along the Derwent 
to where Tillabeck falls into the Derwent. 

" Along Tillabeck to King's Bridge. 

" Along the Harford to the Derwent. 

" Along the Derwent to where the Rye falls into the 

" Along the Rye to Howe Bridge." 

The records relating to Pickering are all so access- 
ible since their publication by the North Riding Record 
Society that those who want to read more details of 
these picturesque mediaeval days can do so with very 
little trouble, but from the extracts that I have made, 
a general idea of the class of information contained in 
the Duchy Records may be obtained. 


St Christopher, the patron saint of travellers with the Infant Christ on his shoulder. The saint 
is shown treading upon the serpent and grasping his staff, which is growing at the edge of the 
stream . [ The copyright is reset ved by Dr John L Kirk 

Alterations to the Church 125 

In this period many additions and alterations were 
made to Pickering church. The Transitional Norman 
tower was largely rebuilt, and the spire was added in the 
Decorated style of Gothic prevalent in the fourteenth 
century. Below the battlements of the tower there are 
shields, but the details have almost entirely weathered 
away. The reticulated windows of the church belong 
to the same period. They are very fine examples of 
the work of that time. The north aisle, the chancel, and 
probably the north window of the north transept also 
belong to this period, so that work of an extensive 
nature must have been progressing on the church as 
well as the castle at the same time. The walls of the 
nave and chancel appear to have been raised in the 
latter half of the fifteenth century, and this would be 
shortly before the remarkable series of wall paintings 
came into existence. The date of these pictures can be 
brought down to fairly narrow limits, for the arms carried 
by the four knights who are shown about to murder 
St Thomas a Becket belong to the years between 
1450 and 1460, according to Mr J. G. Waller. The 
Rev. G. H. Lightfoot, a former vicar of Pickering, 
mentions 1 the discovery of traces of earlier paintings 
of superior execution when the present ones were 
being restored, but of these indications no sign is now 

When the church was re-opened after the restora- 
tion in 1879, the walls of the nave were covered with 
a thick coat of yellow wash, but there were many 

1 T or k shire Archaeological Journal, 1895. 

126 The Evolution of an English Town 

living who remembered the accidental discovery of 
the strange pictures that were for a time exposed to 
the wondering gaze of the congregation. The distrac- 
tion caused by this novelty led to the coat of yellow 
wash that undoubtedly did infinite harm to the paint- 
ings. At the subsequent restoration, which was carried 
out by degrees as the necessary funds were forthcoming, 
it was found that portions of some of the figures 
had perished, and it is a most regrettable fact that the 
restoration included the painting in of certain missing 
parts whose details could only be supplied by analogy. 
From Mr Lightfoot's description it seems that in the 
large picture of St George and the Dragon a consider- 
able part of the St George's body was missing ; that 
the representation of Herod's Feast and the lowest 
scene of the life of St Katherine of Alexandria were 
very badly damaged by the attachments of mural 
tablets. On the whole, however, the paintings when 
uncovered were in a good state of preservation, and the 
colours were more vivid than they were left after the 
re-touching by Mr Jewitt. 

Taking the pictures along the north wall in order, 
the first is the huge representation of St George, then 
facing the porch entrance on a still larger scale is the 
figure of St Christopher, bearing on his left shoulder 
the infant Christ. This position, facing these who 
enter the church, is the usual one for St Christopher, for 
he was the patron-saint of travellers, and the size is in 
keeping with the tradition which speaks of the saint 
as standing twelve cubits high. He is shown using a 


They are, from left to right : (i) Feeding the hungry (partly missing in photograph)*; (2) Giving 
drink to the thirsty ; (3) Compelling the stranger to come in ; (4) Clothing the naked ; (5) Visiting 
those in prison ; (6) Visiting the sick ; (7) Burying the dead. 

* This appears in another photograph showing scenes from the life of our Lord. 



{The C pyrighi is reserved by Dr John L. Kirk. 

The Dancing of Herod's Daughter 127 

tree as his staff, and the Evil One is being trampled 
underfoot in the form of a serpent. 

Adjoining St Christopher is the curious painting 
showing Herod's Feast, a very rare subject to be chosen 
for wall paintings. Although this picture has been so 
much restored the figures were very carefully traced out 
where only faint indications could be seen, so that it now 
presents the original work where it was not totally 
destroyed with considerable accuracy. It is really three 
scenes, although it appears as one. Herod's daughter is 
on the right performing a mediaeval tumble dance before 
the king and queen and their two guests, and on the left 
St John the Baptist is shown, still kneeling, although 
his head lies on the pavement. Salome is holding the 
charger against her breast. In the central portion of the 
picture she appears carrying the head of St John in 
the dish. The picture above this shows the coronation 
of the Virgin Mary, and the wall of heaven is higher 

The martyrdom of St Edmund in the next spandrel 
is a most realistic picture. The saint is tied to a tree 
and is pierced by fourteen arrows. The black-letter 
inscriptions read " Edmund Prync and martyr." 

" Heven blys to hes mede 
Hem sail have for hys gud ded" 

Above this picture is the painting already mentioned 
of St Thomas a Becket being approached by the four 
knights who are about to murder him. 

On the south side of the nave the chief part of the 

128 The Evolution of an English Town 

wall is given up to the legend of St Katherine of 
Alexandria. She was said to be the daughter of Costus, 
King of Alexandria, and was married to a son of Con- 
stantine Chlorius, the Roman Governor of York. 

The upper panel shows the temple of Serapis, and 
St Katherine endeavouring to convert the Emperor 
Maximin to Christianity. Further to the right she is 
shown entering the prison into which she was cast. 
The emperor, impressed both by her beauty and her 
arguments, endeavours with the help of several philo- 
sophers to persuade her to give up her belief in Chris- 
tianity ; they are, however, all converted by her, and soon 
after they are executed at the emperor's command. St 
Katherine is then stripped to the waist and beaten in 
the presence of the emperor, who is shown on the 
extreme right as well as the left of the second panel. 
After further imprisonment the saint is joined by the 
Empress Faustina, a new convert, who comforts the 
prisoner, and is shown joining with her in prayer. 

Further on, the emperor is shown testing the saint's 
faith by the wheel, but two angels appear, and having 
broken the wheels the attendants are overthrown. The 
last scene, in which St Katherine is kneeling, is so much 
" restored " that its interest is very much impaired. 

The long and narrow series of pictures over the 
arches represents the seven corporal acts of mercy, 
namely, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, 
compelling a stranger to come in, clothing the naked, 
visiting those in prison, visiting the sick, and burying 
the dead. Continuing in the same line appear re- 


The Four Knights are seen approaching the " Turbulent Priest. 1 


It is composed of three pictures. On the right, Salome is performing a " Tumble " dance before 
Herod, his quceti, and two guests, while St John the Baptist is holding up a warning hand : in the 
centre, Salome has the head of St John in a charger, and on the left the execution is shown. 

[The Copyright is reserved by Dt John L. Kirk. 

The Legend of Prince Belzeray 129 

presentations of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, 
healing the ear of Malchus, Christ before Pilate, the 
scourging of our Lord, and then follow scenes of the 
Crucifixion, followed by the burial and resurrection. In 
the spandrel over the third pillar from the west the 
descent of Christ into Hades, represented by a great 
dragon's jaw, is shown. Adam holding an apple, and 
followed by Eve and many other spirits, is shown 
coming to meet our Lord. Between the clerestory 
windows there are three paintings which seem to 
belong to a series associated with the Virgin Mary. 
The first, which may represent the Assumption, has not 
been restored, and very little remains to be seen. The 
second, according to Mr Keyser, shows the burial, and 
on the coffin appears the Jewish Prince Belzeray, who 
is said to have interfered with the funeral by raising 
himself astride the coffin. The legend says that he 
became fixed to the pall, and only escaped after repent- 
ance and the united prayers of the apostles. 

Of the third picture only a portion remains, the 
upper part being new plaster, but the figures of some 
of the apostles who are shown may have been stand- 
ing by the deathbed of the Virgin. The coronation 
scene already mentioned on the north side of the nave 
would thus complete a series of four pictures. 

Just by the lectern at the north-east corner of the 
nave is a recumbent effigy of a knight wearing armour 
of the period when chain-mail was being exchanged for 
plate armour. This was during the fourteenth century. 
The arms on the shield are those of Bruce, and belonging 

130 The Evolution of an English Town 

to this period there has been discovered a license to 
Sir William Bruce to have a chantry in Pickering 
Church. There can therefore be little doubt that this 
nameless effigy is that of Sir William Bruce. The 
deed is dated "Saturday, the feast of St John the 
Evangelist, 1337," anc * lt states * at a li cense was given 

The arms on the shield are drawn separately on the right. 

in consideration of one messuage and two bovates of 
land in the village of Middleton near Pickering for a 
certain chaplain to celebrate Divine (mysteries) daily 
in the Church of St Peter, Pickering (the full dedication 
is to God, St Peter, and St Paul), for the souls of the 
masters, William and Robert of Pickering, Adam de 
Bruce and Mathilda his wife." The two beautifully 

The Effigies in the Bruce Chapel 1 3 1 

X / 

S / 


The man bears the arms of Rockcliffe on his surcoat. Both figures wear the collar of SS. 

The Effigies in the Bruce Chapel 133 

carved figures of a knight and his lady that lie in the 
Bruce Chapel are not Bruces for the surcoat of the man 
is adorned with the arms of the Rockcliffes an heraldic 
chess-rook and three lions' heads. Both the knight 
and his lady wear the collar of SS, the origin of which 
is still wrapped in obscurity. Traces of gilding are 
visible in several places on the wings of the angels that 
support the heads of both figures, 
as well as in other parts of the 
carving where the detail is not 
obliterated. The date of these 
monuments is believed to have been 
either the end of the fourteenth or 
the very beginning of the fifteenth 
centuries. In the south-east corner 
of the north transept, almost hidden 
by deep shadows, there lies a trun- 
cated effigy of a man in armour of 
about the same period as that of Sir 
William Bruce, but there is nothing 
to identify these mutilated remains. 
The sedilia in the chancel seem to 
be coeval with that part of the 
church. They are ornamented with some curious 
carving and some heads, one of them, very much 
restored, representing apparently a bishop, priest, and 
deacon ; the fourth head is a doubtful quantity. 

Close to the sedilia is a piscina decorated in a similar 

Near the porch, in the usual position, is a holy- 

The holy- water stoup in Pickering 

134 The Evolution of an English Town 

water stoup that has the front part of the basin broken 
off. This may possibly have happened at the same 
time as the smashing of the font in Puritan days 

mentioned in a later chapter. 
The curious little recess in the 
west wall of the Bruce Chapel 
might have been utilised for more 
than one purpose, but it is diffi- 
cult to say whether it was for 
holding a lamp, whether it may 
at one time have been a low side 
window, or whether it was at 
any time used as an opening for 
a bell rope to be pulled from 

A hospital of St Nicholas 
at Pickering is often mentioned 
among the records of this time, 
but I am unable to discover the 
site, unless it was near to where there was a burying- 
ground in Westgate. The castle chapel was also 
dedicated to St Nicholas, and some confusion may thus 
have arisen. 

Up to about the year 1 880 the town-crier of Picker- 
ing was using a small mediaeval bell that has since been 
handed over to the authorities of the British Museum by 
the Registrar of the Duchy of Lancaster. The bell is 
engraved with four figures a crucifix, St George and 
the Dragon, the Virgin and Child, and St John the 
Baptist, and round the haunch runs the inscription 

used by the Town Crier of Picker- 
ing. It bears the name " Vilyame 
Stokeslai," and probably dates 
from the fourteenth century- 

The Sanctus Bell 135 

" VILYAME STOKESLAI." As nothing at all is known 
of the history of the bell it is difficult to say much as 
to its origin, but it appears to belong to the fourteenth 
century, and may be associated with a William 
Stokesley of Whitby whose name appears at that date. 
Much more could be written about this period from 
many standpoints, but from what has been given some 
of the salient facts of these centuries stand out clearly. 
It is plain that the people rich and poor drew 
largely upon the forest for free supplies of timber and 
venison, despite the severity of the laws. It also 
appears that the officers of the forest frequently abused 
their power to the damage and often at the expense of 
the personal security of the townsfolk and villagers. 
The importance of Pickering at this time is emphasised 
by many royal visits and to some extent by the sending 
of members to Parliament on one occasion. Much 
building at the church and castle took place in the 
period described, and it is quite possible that some of 
the oldest cottages with fork framework date from 
Plantagenet times, and that the fallen beams we see 
lying among the nettles of the ruined cottages were taken 
from the forest without payment or permission. 


The Forest and Vale In Tudor Times 
A.D. 1485 to 1603 

THE Wars of the Roses had allowed the royal pos- 
sessions to fall into a state of great disorder, so 
that the Duchy of Lancaster records belonging 
to the early years of the reign of Henry VII. contain 
many references to the necessity for vigorously checking 
infringements on the forest that had been taking place. 
A patent dated 26th of October 1489,* says, " To our 
t[rusty] and w[elbeloved] Brian Sandford Stuard of our 
honnor of Pykeryng in our Countie of York and 
Constable of our Castle there and master Forster of 
our game within the said honnor and to al forsters 
and kepers within the same and in their absence to ther 
deputies ther and to every of them gretyng. Foras- 
much as it is common unto our knowledge that our 
game of dere and warenne within our seid Honnor is 
gretly diminnisshed by excessive huntyng within the 
same and likely to be destroied, without restreynt in 
the same be had in that behalf, we desire the Re- 
plenisshyng of our seid game, not only for our singler 
pleasure but also for the disport of other our servantes 
and subgettes of Wirshipp in theis parties. And 

1 "North Riding Records," vol. i., New Series, p. 123. 

Preserving the Forest 


therfor we wol and straitly charge you all & every 
of you that from hensforth ye suffre no manner of 
personne or per- 


sonnes of what 
estate degree or 
condicion soever he 
or they be, to have 
shot sute ne course 
at any of our game 
within our seid 
Honnor duryng 
the space of iij 
years next ensuyng 
after the date her- 
of, without special 
warraunt undre 
our scale of oure 
seid Duchie and if 
any personne or 
personnes presume 
or attempt in any 
wise the breche 
of this our special 

and COm 

Fowen brands in Pickering lilk far 
thtSc Cattle. 






























r Copied from a MS. book dated at the close of the sixteenth 

We Clt- century and in the possession of the Rev. A. Hill of Thornton- 
le-dale. The names are spelt as they are written, but are not 
WOl and g' ven in facsimile. The book is a copy of an earlier one that 
is still in existence. 

straitly charge you 

al and every of you, that without delai ye certifie us 
of theire name or names so offendyng, to thentent that 
we maye provide for their lawful punycion in that 

138 The Evolution of an English Town 

behalf, which we entend sharply to execute and 
punysshe in example of al othre like offenders, not 

failyng herof as 




Brainds for the, 

. XfS-itff s*<f+fi9hn*nf'S 













ye wol avoide our 
grevous displeasure 
and answher unto 
us at their per ell." 
There are many 
other commissions 
of this character 
made out to "Sir 
Rauf Evers 
knight," "Sir 
Richard Cholme- 
ley knight," " Sir 
John Huthem," 
<c John Pykeryng 
knyght," " Leon 
Percy [Lionel 
Percehay] squyer," 
and many other 
influential men of 
the sixteenth cen- 

During the reign of Henry VII. there was a pro- 
longed dispute between Sir Roger Hastings of Roxby 
and Sir Richard Cholmley concerning the alleged riotous 
and unlawful conduct with which each side accused 
the other. The pleadings on either side are by no 
means easy to follow, but the beginning of the trouble 


A Broil on Christmas Day 139 

seems to date from Sir Roger Hastings' succession to 
the estate of Roxby. Mr Turton, who has transcribed 
all the documents relating to the quarrel, thinks that 
Sir Roger attempted to shift the death duties from 
himself to one of his tenants named Ralph Joyner, who 
refused to pay. " After an abortive attempt to 
recover the sum by distrain" says Mr Turton, it 
" resulted in an appeal to the Earl of Surrey, and Sir 
Roger was compelled to pay it himself." The records 
tell us that this Ralph Joyner was often " in Jeopardy 
of his liff ; And how he was at diverse tymez chased 
by diverse of the menyall servantes of the said Sir 
Roger Hastynges, wheruppon the said Roger Cholmley 
sent to the said Sir Roger Hastynges in curteyse waise 
desyring hym to kepe the kynges peax, whiche he 
effectuelly promysed to doo, uppon truste wherof upon 
Christmas day now Laste paste the said RaurF Jenore 
cam to his parisshe chirche, called Elborne [Ellerburne] 
chirche, as belonged to a christenman to doo, in peassible 
maner, not fearing the said Sir Roger Hastynges, 
because of his said promyse, Howbeit soon after that 
comme thedir the said Sir Roger accompenyed with 
the numbre of xx [twenty] persons diffencible arrayed 
with bowes, billes and other weponz, And then as sone 
as the said Roger came nyghe unto the Chircheyerd of 
the foresaid Chirche, And had undirstandyng that the 
said RaufF was within the said chirche, he manassed 
[menaced] and threted the said RaufF and said that he 
wolde slee hym. And in a great fury wolde have 
entred the said chirche to have complisshed the same." 

1 40 The Evolution of an English Town 

This bloodthirsty desire was checked for a time by the 
vicar, who " knellyng upon his knees before the said Sir 
Roger," and with other "well dissposed personez," 
induced him to delay his purpose. 

"Theruppon the wif of the said Sir Roger 
Hastynges cam into the said chirche & said unto 
the said Rauff, c Woo worthe man this day ! the 
chirche wolbe susspended and thou slayn, withoute 
thou flee awey and gette the oute of his sighte ' 
wheruppon the said Rauff Jenore flede oute of the said 
chirche by a bakke doore and cam to Pykeryng, and 
petyously desired of the said Roger Chalmley that in 
so muche as he was the Stewardes deputie there and 
hadde rewle of the Countre, that he myght be in 
suertie of his liff." The records then describe how 
Ralph Joyner induced Roger Cholmley, " beyng there 
Bailly," with "Sir Rauff Evers & other jointly & 
severally " to bind Sir Roger Hastings to " Maister 
Bray " for the sum of a hundred pounds to keep the 
king's peace within the liberty of Pickering. The 
aggrieved side did not dare to deliver the deed with 
only their usual personal servants, but had to call upon 
a number of others owing to the fact that Sir Roger 
was " a worshipfull man of the said libertie & of 
great myghte havyng many Riottous personez aboute 
hym" When the little cavalcade of mounted men 
and servants reached Roxby they found that Sir Roger 
Hastings had left for Scarborough. He describes the 
procedure of the Cholmley party in a most picturesque 
fashion, stating that within an hour after the delivery 

"False Hurson Kaytyffes " 141 

of the Privy Seal they "came Ryottously with the 
nowmbre of xii persons, with bow is arrowes 
longe sperys in maner and furme of warre." In 
another place he details their armour and arms saying 
that they were arrayed with " Cures (cuirass) Corsettes 
(armour for the body) Brygendyns, Jakkys, Salettis (a 
light helmet), Speris, Bowes, Arrowes, Sourdis, byllys 
and Launcegays, (a small lance) with other maner of 
wepyns defend ve." As Sir Roger and his wife rode 
towards Scarborough they met " Sir Rauf Ivers, 
which in Curtes (courteous) maner then departed." 
When he was thought to be on the road homewards to 
Roxby, however, Sir Ralph Evers was accused of 
having laid " in a wayte to have murderyd " Sir Roger 
Hastings at Brompton, for at that place Evers and 
eight of his servants came upon Sir Roger's men who 
were being sent ahead to discover the ambush that 
they had reason to fear. When Sir Ralph found that 
the men who reached Brompton were only servants 
and messengers, he was accused of having said to them 
" ye false hurson Kaytyffes, I shall lerne you curtesy 
and to knowe a gentilman." Thereupon Sir Ralph 
" set his arowe in his bowe, seying these wordes, ' And 
your Master were here I wolde stoppe hym the wey.' " 
When they reached Snainton twenty persons issued 
from the house of " one Averey Shymney, servant to 
the seid Sir Rauf . . . arrayed with bowys bent, 
arrowis, billis and G ley vis." 

There is also a complaint against some of the 
servants of Sir Ralph Evers who were held responsible 

142 The Evolution of an English Town 

for a an assaute and Fraye made upon my lady 
Hastynges." Thomas Thirlwall, on being examined, 
said that " my lady came rydyng that ways with vi 
horses with hir, and oone of hir servantz thet rode 
afore, had a male [a portmanteau] behynd hym, and 
with a bowe in his hand bent, and that the said 
servant rode soo nygh hym th[at] the male touched 
hym and he bade hym ryde forther and asked, why his 
bow was bent, and he said that was mater to hym, and 
the sayd deponent with I d knyff [in another place it is 
called a dagger] which he had in his hand cut the bow 
string, bicause he rode soo nygh hym with horse that 
he had almost stroken hym downe; And forther he 
deposith that my lady light downe from hir horse 
hirself and said that, ' and she liffed, she would be 
avenged * ; and thereupon Ric : Brampton came to hir 
and said, c Madame be not afferd, for here shall noo 
man trouble you nee yours.' ' 

The accusations of attempts on the part of Sir 
Ralph Evers and the Cholmleys to stir up trouble 
between their servants and those of Sir Roger Hastings 
are very numerous and involved, but despite the 
elaborate details given by the owner of Roxby the 
case went against him at the court of the Duchy of 
Lancaster at Westminster Palace. Sir Roger seems 
to have been too high handed in his dealings with his 
neighbours, even for the unsettled times in which he 
lived. Some of the items against him throw a vivid 
light on his proceedings. " Itm the said Ser Roger 
Hastynges with hys household servants, daily goyng 

A Night Raid on the Castle 143 

and rydyng trough the Countrey more like men of 
warr then men of peas, in ill example to other, thrught 
the Kinges markettz and townez of hys liberte of 
Pykeryng lith, with bowes bent and arrowes in ther 
handes, feryng [frightening] the Kinges people and 
inhabitauntes of the same, whereupon the Countrey 
diverse tymes hath compleyned thame to Roger 
Cholmeley, there being hys brother's depute and 
baylly etc." 

" Itm the wyeff of the said Sir Roger Hastynges 
with here awn company of houshold servants as 
forcaid (?) come into Blandisby Park, and there found 
a Fat Stott [a young ox] of Rauff Bukton, and with 
dooges toke the said Stott and slowe hym and etc 
hym and no mends will make etc. 

" Itm that the said Sir Roger Hastynges the xiii 
day of October last past [circa 1496] with Force and 
armz of the nyghtertall [night time] sent his houshold 
servantes to the Castell of Pykeryng, and abowt myd- 
nyght with lothus [qu : ladders] clame ore the walles, 
and then and there brake the kinges prison, and toke 
owt with them oon John Harwod, the which was set 
there for diverse Riottes by hym made agayns the 
kinges peas, wherefore he was indited ; and aftirward 
the same nyght when he for thought that he had done, 
prively sent hym in agayn ; howbeit the kings prison 
and hys Castell was broken." 

Such incidents as these enliven the pages of the 
Duchy of Lancaster Records, and if there were more 
space available it would be interesting to give many 

144 The Evolution of an English Town 

more of these graphic incidents that took place four 
hundred years ago. In many places one finds references 








Some of these ancient buildings are still inhabited ; several of the survivors are in ruins. 
The details given in this drawing are taken from a cottage at Thornton-le-dale ; one end has already 
been demolished (Oct. 1905). The low walls appear to have been built after the framework, and the 
house may have been thatched to the ground at one time. 

to the illegal taking of oaks from the forest for build- 
ing houses. Big boughs or the stems of small trees 

Doorway with hoary oaken framework 
on the garden side of the Post Office at 
Middle! on. 

A. Fireplace in the ingle-nook. 

B. Window lighting the ingle-nook. 


The exterior (viewed from C on the plan) is generally as shown. The small window by the door 
(B) lights the ingle-nook, and is never missing in the oldest type of cottage. It can be seen blocked 
up in those that have been remodelled. 

The Rise of the Cholmleys 147 

were placed together in the form of an A with the 
ends resting on the ground. These beams, that formed 
the bays of a house, are locally called "forks," the 
name by which they are known in the records of the 
reign of Henry VII. In 1498 we find that " The abbot 
of Whitby had as many oakes taken in Godlande [Goath- 
land] as made aftre the maner of the Coutrey iij pair of 
forkes, with other bemes and wall plaites as were mete 
for the repairalling of an hows of his in Godlande." 

The great legal case between Sir Roger Hastings 
and the Cholmleys seems to have impoverished the 
turbulent owner of Roxby, for after the adverse 
decision Hastings seems to have had difficulty in 
raising the moneys to meet all the heavy expenses of 
the trial, and Mr Turton thinks that Roxby was at 
first mortgaged and afterwards sold to Roger Cholmley, 
brother of Sir Richard, who had received knighthood 
in 1509. Sir Richard Cholmley may be considered the 
founder of the Yorkshire families of Cholmley, and he 
was in his time a man of great power and influence, 
holding the four chief offices in the Honor of Pickering, 
and at the commencement of the reign of Henry VIII. 
he was appointed Lieutenant of the Tower of London. 
He had no legal offspring, and his illegitimate son, a 
Sir Roger, who must not be confused with his uncle, was 
successively Chief Baron and Lord Chief Justice, died 
without issue. Sir Hugh Cholmley l tells us many facts 
concerning his great-grandfather Sir Richard, who was 
a nephew of the former Sir Richard. " His chief place 

1 " Memoirs of Sir Hugh Cholmley," p. 7. 

1 48 The Evolution of an English Town 

of residence," he says, " was at Roxby, lying between 
Pickering and Thornton (now almost demolished), 
where he lived in great port, having a very great 
family, at least fifty or sixty men-servants, about his 
house, and I have been told by some who knew the 
truth, that when there had been twenty-four pieces of 
beef put in a morning into the pot, sometimes not one 
of them would be left for his own dinner : for in those 
times, the idle-serving men were accustomed to have 
their breakfast, and with such liberty as they would go 
into the kitchen, and striking their daggers into the 
pot, take out the beef without the cook's leave or 
privacy ; yet he would laugh at this rather than be 
displeased, saying, " Would not the knaves leave me one 
piece for my own dinner ? ' He never took a journey 
to London that he was not attended with less than 
thirty, sometimes forty men-servants, though he went 
without his lady. There was a great difference be- 
tween him and his brother-in-law, the Earl of West- 
moreland ; and, as I have heard upon this cause : That, 
after the death of his sister, the Lady Anne, the Earl 
married the second sister, Gascoigne's widow, which 
occasioned continual fighting and scuffles between the 
Earl's men and Sir Richard's, when they met, whether 
in London streets or elsewhere, which might be done 
with less danger of life and bloodshed than in these 
succeeding ages ; because they then fought only with 
buckler and short sword, and it was counted un- 
mannerly to make a thrust. . . . This Sir Richard 
was possessed of a very great estate worth at this day to 

"The Black Knight of the North" 149 

the value of about ; 10,000 a year; . . . He died in 
the sixty third year of his age, at Roxby, . . . and lies 
buried in the chancel of Thornton church [the monu- 
ment there to-day bears the effigy of a lady and is 
nameless], of which he was patron, May lyth, 1599. 
He was tall of stature and withal big and strong-made, 
having in his youth a very active, able body, bold and 
stout; his hair and eyes black, and his complexion 
brown, insomuch as he was called the great black Knight 
of the North ; though the word great attributed to him 
not so much for his stature, as power, and estate, and 
fortune. He was a wise man, and a great improver of 
his estate, which might have prospered better with his 
posterity, had he not been extra-ordinarily given to the 
love of women." There is unfortunately nothing left 
above the ground of the manor house of Roxby, 
the grass-covered site merely showing ridges and 
mounds where the buildings stood. It is therefore 
impossible to obtain any idea of the appearance 
of what must have been a very fine Tudor house. 
That a gallery was built there by Sir Richard Cholmley, 
the Great Black Knight of the North, in the reign 
of Elizabeth, appears from the record which says 
" that the saide S r Rychard Cholmley did send Gyles 
Raunde and George Raude two masons to the Quenes 
Castell of Pyckeringe whenn he builded his gallerye 
at Roxbye to polle [pulle] downe the chefe stones of 
Masonn work owt of one howse in the same castell 
called the King's Haull, and took owte of the pry ncy pall 
and cheffest Towre of the same castle the stones of 

150 The Evolution of an English Town 

the stayres which they did and the said S r Rychard 
caused xiiii wayne lodes of the same stones to be 
caryed by his Tenantes to his owne house at Roxbye." 

Leland, 1 who wrote in the reign of Henry VIII., 
tells us that at Wilton there was " a Manor Place with 
a Tower longging to Cbomeley" He also says " This 
C home ley hath a Howse also at Ro lies ley (Rottesby] : and 
Cbomeley s Father that now is was as an Hedde officer 
at Pykeringe, and setter up of his name yn that 
Quarters." " Thens to Pykering : and moste of the 
Ground from Scardeburg to Pykering was by Hille and 
Dale meate (metely) plentifull of Corn and Grasse but 
litle Wood in sight. 

" The Toune of Pykering is large but not welle 
compact togither. The greatest Part of it with the 
Paroch Chirch and the Castel is on the South Est Part 
of the Broke renning thorough the Toune, and standith 
on a great Slaty Hille. The other Part of the Toun is 
not so bigge as this : the Brook rennith bytwixt them 
that Sumtyme ragith, but it suagith shortely agayn : and 
a Mile beneth the Toun goith into Costey [the Costa]. 

" In Pykering Chirch I saw 2 or 3 Tumbes of 
the Bruses 'wherof one with his Wife lay yn a 
Chapel on the South syde of the Quirr, and he had a 
Garland about his Helmet. There was another of the 
Bruses biried in a Chapel under an Arch of the North 
side of the Body of the Quier : and there is a Cantuarie 
bering his Name. 

1 " The Itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary," Thomas Hearne, 
I 745- Vol. i. pp. 64 and 65. 

Leland describes the Castle 153 

" The Deane of York hath by Impropriation the Per- 
sonage of Pykering, to the which diverse Churches of 
Pykering Lith doith Homage. 

" The Castelle Stondith in an End of the Town 
not far from the Paroch Chirch on the Brow of the 
Hille, under the which the Broke rennith. In the first 
Court of it be a 4 Toures, of the which one is Caullid 
Rosamunde's Toure. 

"In the inner Court be also a 4 Toures, wherof 
the Kepe is one. The Castelle Waulles and the 
Toures be meatly welle. The Logginges yn the 
ynner Court that be of Timbre be in ruine, in this 
inner Court is a Chappelle and a cantuarie Prest. 

"The Castelle hath of a good continuance with 
the Towne and Lordship longgid to the Lancaster 
Bloode : But who made the Castelle or who was the 
Owner of afore the Lancasters I could not lerne there. 
The Castelle Waulles now remaining seme to be of 
no very old Building. 

" As I remembre I hard say that Richard the thirde 
lay sumtyme at this Castelle, and sumtyme at Scarde- 
burgh Castelle. 

u In the other Part of the Toune of Pykering 
passing over Brook by a Stone Bridg of v Arches I 
saw 2 thinges to be notid, the Ruines of a Manor 
Place, caullid Bribes-Haul and a Manor Place of the 
Lascelles at Keld head. The Circuite of the Paroch 
of Pykering goith up to the very Browes of Blackmore 
[Blackamoor was the old name for the moors north 
of Pickering], and is xx miles in Cumpace. 

154 The Evolution of an English Town 

" The Park by the Castelle side is more then vii 
Miles in [qu : circuit], but it is not welle woodid." 

The site of the Manor House of the Bruces appears 
to be in a field to the west of Potter Hill where hollows 
and uneven places in the grass indicate the positions 
of buildings. The fine old Tudor house of Wellburn 
near Kirby Moorside until recently was in a ruinous 
state, and might possibly have disappeared after the 
fashion of Roxby and this Hall of the Bruces, but 
it has lately been completely restored and enlarged, 
and although its picturesqueness has to some extent 
been impaired owing to the additions, they are in the 
same style of architecture as the original building, and 
in time will no doubt mellow down to a pleasanter 

It was in the first year of the reign of Elizabeth 
that the registers of Pickering were commenced. The 
yellowish brown parchment book is in fairly good 
preservation, and commences in the usual manner with 
this carefully written inscription. 

" The Register Boke of these psons whiche Haithe 
bene Babticed Maryed and Buried at Pickeringe sence 
the firste yere of O Sou'ange Ladye Elizabeth by the 
grace of god Quene of England fFrance and Ireland 
defender of the ffaithe etc. Anno dni 1559. 

There are no entries of any particular interest 
belonging to this period ; the unusual occurrences 
belong to the seventeenth century and are recorded in 
the next chapter. Kept with the registers of Pickering 
parish there is, however, a book containing the records 

A Scene in Pickering Church 155 

of some Elizabethan visitations made between 1568 
and 1602. The entries, which have been transcribed 
by Mr T. M. Fallow, are in a mixture of Latin and 
English and some of them are exceedingly interesting. 
The following describes a curious scene in Pickering 

" Item they saie that vpon Sondaie being the iij of 
November 1594 in tyme off evynnyng praie [sic] 
Richarde Haie being parishe clerk of Pickring and 
begynnyng to rede the first lesson of the saide evynnyng 
praier, Robert Leymyng did close and shutt the byble 
to geither whereupon he was to red at, and so disturbed 
him frome reding it, and therevpon John Harding 
redd the first lesson And so hindred and disturbed 
the saide Richard Haie parishe clerke who was readye 
and abowteward to rede the same/ And the saide 
John Harding did likewise disturbe and hinder the 
saide Richarde Haie vpon All Saynts dais last when he 
was to haue helped the vicar to saie devyne service and 
so hindred him being commanded to the conrye 1 by 
the churche wardens, and having the admission of the 
saide Richard Haie openly redd with a revocation of 
the former granted to the saide Hardyng . wherebye he 
was commanded and enioyned to surcease frome 
execution of that office." 

In 1602 when Edward Mylls was vicar of Picker- 
ing, complaints were made of him " that he for the 
most parte, but not alwaies dothe weare a surplesse in 
tyme of dyvyne service / they present there vicar for 

1 This word is doubtful, but is perhaps " conrye," for " contrary." 

1 5 6 The Evolution of an English Town 

that they ar vncerteyne whether his wif was com- 
mended vnto him by justices of peace nor whether he 


It is now in use at Goathland Church, which was formerly included in Pickering Parish. 
(.Reproduced by permission of the Society of Antiquaries.) 

was licenced to marrye hir according to hir Maiesties 
iniunctions / " This vicar was deprived of the living in 
1615, for omitting to preach sermons and for not 

Strict Observance of the Sabbath 157 

properly instructing the people and as will be seen in 
the next chapter he appears to have been a most 
reprehensible character. 

At the same time as this " Richarde Nicoll, Widow 
Kitchin, Robert Skayles, John Flaworthe, and widow 
Shorpshier are presented for deteyning the clerkes 
wages/ Elizabeth Dodds ffor having a childe in 
adultery withe one Anthonye Boyes, which Boyes is 
now fledd / William Steavenson ffbr a slanderer . And 
also Frances Fetherston the wif of Robert Fetherston 
for a scowlde / Richard Hutchinson for harboring a 
woman which had a childe begotten in fornicacion 
They saie that \blank\ Lavrock and \blanK\ Wilson 
did by the apoyntment of Richard Parkinson there 
master carrye turffes in to the house vpon the Sabboth 
daie The rest is all well." 

The rigid observance of the Sabbath as a day of 
rest is vividly shown by this last complaint, and at 
Allerston we find that " Isabell Rea wiffe of William 
Raie " was reprimanded" ffor workyng on the 
Sabbothe daie viz 1 for washing and dressing of hempe 
at the hemppe pitt vpon Sondaie was seavenyght / " 

In 1592 appears the following/ "The chancell 
of Pickering in decaie bothe the windowes and the 
leades and to be repaired as we suppose by Mr Deane / 
[The Dean of York] Mr Deane for want of the quarter 
sermons and for not geving the xl tie part of his lyving 
of the parsonage of Pickering to the poore people of 
the said parishe Agnes Poskett wif of William Poskett 
of Pickering for a scold." 

158 The Evolution of an English Town 

In the following year we find presented at Picker- 
ing " Elizabeth Johnson wif of Frances Johnson of 
Kinthorpe for an obstynate recusant in not comyng to 
the churche . to here dyvyne service by the space of ij 
yeares last past and more/ Anne Browne wiffe of 
William Browne of Pickering for an obstinate recusant 
in not commyng to the churche to here dyvyne service 
and so haithe done by the space of ij yeares and more / 
RaufFe Hodgeson of Pickring for an obstinate recusant 
and haithe absented him self ffrome the churche by the 
space of ij yeares and more. Anne Clerke being in 
John Wright his house of Blansbye and haithe meate 
and drinke there, ffbr not commyng to the church to 
here dyvyne service by the space of half a yeare / 
Rychard Hutchinson sonne of William Hutchinson of 
Kinthorpp ffbr absenting him self from the churche by 
the space of halff a yeare and more / . And he is 


Elizabeth Dobson was presented in 1600 as "a 
slaunderer who saide to Thomas Gibson that he was a 
Mainesworne ladd / " 

To call anyone " mansworn " was evidently a very 
serious offence, for in 1527 the Newcastle-on-Tyne 
corporation of weavers decreed that any member of the 
corporation who should call his brother " mansworn " 
should incur a forfeit of 6s. 8d. " without forgiveness." 
To manswear comes from the Anglo-Saxon man- 
siverian meaning to swear falsely or to perjure oneself. 
Among the men of note of this period mention must be 
made of Ralph Dodmer son of Henry Dodmer of 

Curing a Witch Spell 159 

Pickering who was a mercer and Lord Mayor of 
London in I52I. 1 

The visitation book shows that it was no un- 
common thing to accuse a woman of being a scold in 
these times and the following written in i6o2 2 throws 
a lurid light on the methods for removing the effects of 
a witch's malice. 

" To cure an ill caste by any Witch putt upon any 
childe be y l y e evil eye, an overglent, spreeking, an ill 
birth touche or of a spittle boult but do as here given & 
alle shalle be overcome letting no evil rest upon y m 
Take a childe so ill held ?ff strike y l seven times on 
y e face ?ff like upon y e navel with y e heart of a blacke 
cat then roast y* heart sf give of y l to eat seven 
nights at bed meale & y l shalle be well butt y e cat must 
be seven years olde & y e seventh dropped at birth 
otherwise y l shalle faile to overcome any Witch spell 
soever ill worked y e blood from such an heart laid to 
any witches dorepost or thrown over nighte upon her 
dorestep will cause a sore & great paine in her belly." 

In the period which includes the momentous defeat 
of the Spanish Armada (1588) it is fitting to describe 
the beacons of Pickering and the neighbourhood that 
must have helped to spread the news to the inhabitants 
of Yorkshire of the coming of that " Invincible " fleet. 
A contemporary manuscript book dated 1580 to 159 o, 
and discovered by Mr J. G. Constable, tells us how 
Pickering beacon, which was presumably situated on 

1 Thomas Fuller's Worthies." 

1 The original is stuck in Calvert's MS. Book of Folklore. 

1 60 The Evolution of an English Town 

Beacon Hill opposite the castle, gave light to the 

neighbouring heights. 

P* lr ' Pickering beacon giveth light to Setring- 

O frn \^f*ctrnr\ in frhf TTuct T^irlincr unrl tr\ 


ton beacon, in the East Riding, and to 

v ' Ampleforth beacon, in Rydall. Seamer 

' two beacons do give light to Pickering, 

Susfeld, in Whitby Strand, and Setterington beacon. 
Waipnesse beacon, within the liberties of Scarborough, 
do give light to Muston Beacon, in the East Riding, 
and to the west of the beacons before named 

" Charnell, three beacons, within the town of 
Scarborough adjoining to the castle, do give light to 
Waipnesse and Muston beacon." 

" R H 11 There is a beacon in Rydall called Ample- 

rJ r forthe beacon well repaired. It taketh light 

from Pickering beacon. It giveth light to 

the Sumclife beacon, in the Wapentake of Birdforth, 

three miles distant from it westward " 

In 1598 l the streets of Pickering are given as, 
Easte Gaite and Hallgarthe, Ungate, Birdgate, Borrow- 
gate and Weste Gate. 

Two interesting monuments of this period are to 
be found in Brompton and Kirby-Moorside Churches. 
The first is carved on stone in the north wall of the 
Church. It reads : 

"l.W. IjSo. E.W. 1547. HEIR LIETH IAMES 

1 MS. book of Pickering Records in possession of the Rev. Arthur Hill 
of Thornton-le-dale. 

Elizabethan Brasses 161 


The brass at Kirby-Moorside is to the memory 
of Lady Brooke and bears this verse as well as the 
inscription : 

" Prepare for death for if the fatall sheares 
Covld have bene stayd by prayers, sighes or teares 
They had bene stayd, and this tombe thov seest here 
Had not erected beene yet many a yeare." 

" Here lyeth the body of my Lady Brooke, who 
while she lyved was a good woman, a very good 
mother, and an exceeding good wife. Her sovle is at 
rest w th God, for she was svre y 1 her Redemer lyved, 
and that thovgh wormes destroyed her body, yet shee 
shovld see God in her flesh. She died the I2th of 
Jvly 1600." 

From the different aspects of life at Pickering in 
the Tudor Period that we have been able to give, some- 
thing can be seen of the manner of living at this time ; 
but to have done justice to the materials that may be 
drawn upon would have required a volume for what 
has of necessity been limited to a chapter. 


The Forest and Vale in Stuart Times 
A.D. 1603 to 1714 

AS in the two preceding chapters the records be- 
longing to the Stuart period are so numerous 
that one is almost embarrassed at the mass of 
detailed information that has been preserved, and 
it is only possible to select some of the most interesting 
facts. Commencing with the parish registers, however, 
we are confronted with a gap of about thirteen years. 
After having been kept with regularity since 1559, 
there appears on p. 48 of the earliest book this curious 
entry : " Edward Milnes Vicar of Pickering rent out 
all these following leaves." The missing pages con- 
tained the entries from 1602 to 1615, and this coincides 
with the years of Milnes's tenure of the living, for he 
appears to have come to Pickering in 1602, and he was 
deprived in 1615. The reasons for removing this vicar 
are recorded as follows in the last pages of the register, but 
the motives that prompted him to tear out these thirty- 
five parchment pages from the register do not appear : 

" A true copie of the Order of the 
Councel ther in Pickering Lith asserted? 
obtained by Mr Lawrence Trotter at- C M d at 

tornie at the Common law Ano dofhi 


A Scandalous Vicar 163 

" At the Court at Greenewich on Sunday the 21 of 
May 1615 in the afternoone: present L. Archbishop 
of Canterburie, L. Chancelor, L. Knolls, L. Treasurer 
Mr Secretarie Winwood, D. of Linnox, Mr 
Chanceler of the Excheq, E. of Worcester, L, Chiefe 
iusice, E. of Pembrooke, Mr of y e Rolles, L. Souch, Sir 
Thomas Lake. 

" Complaint having bin made unto the boarde by 
the Inhabitants of the towne and parish of Pickering 
in the Countie of Yorke. That that personage now 
in possession of the bishop of Bristoll Deane of Yorke 
(it being an indowment of the said Deanerie) such 
slender care hath bene had by him for the preaching 
of the Gospell unto the said parishioners, and giving 
them that Christianlike and necessarie instrucon which is 
fitting, as for a long time they scarce had any sermon 
at all amongest them. Where upon their Lordships 
were pleased to direct their Letters unto the s d Lord 
Bishop admonishing and requiring him to give speedie 
order for the redresse of so great an inconvenience and 
so scandalous to his ma ties most Christian goverm*. 
But receaving answer from his Lordship that in re- 
spect the said Psonage being an impropriacbn is 
indued w th a Vicarage and a Viccar presented there- 
unto he held him selfe freed in Law from any 
further charge, and that the said Psnage was in Lease 
w th . such other like excuses but that notwithstanding he 
was contented to procure them 1 2 sermons every yeare, 
their Lordships thought fitting this day to call him to 

1 64 The Evolution of an English Town 

the boarde, and to let him sea in reason of State, besides 
the great obligacon they had as Christians it behoved 
them to presse his Lordship notwithstanding the 
former excuse to have yet a further care of the teaching 
so great a multitude (they being 4000 people) consider- 
ing how busie the priestes and Jesuits are in these 
dayes (especially in these quarters) not only laboring 
to corrupt his ma ties subiects in their religion but also 
infecting them with such damnable posiciones and 
Doctrine touching the valew . . . (?) unto his ma ties 
sacred person where upon the said bishop made offer 
unto the boarde that he would forthwith (?) remove the 
vicar now there present and place in his roome some 
lerned and religious pastor who should as it was de- 
sired weekely preach unto the people and carefully 
instruct them in the points of faith and religion of 
which their Lordships were pleased to accept for the 
present, and accordingly inioyned him to the per- 
formance thereof and withall ordered the said preacher 
now to be presented should first be approved and 
allowed by the lorde Archbishop of Yorke in respect of 
abilitie and sufficiencie." This entry is thus attested : 


Edward Bright succeeded to the living in 1615. 
We may believe that he was selected as being a " lerned 
and religious pastor." He appears to have remained 

Puritan Destructiveness 

in possession until his death in 1659, though there 
is an entry of the baptism of a son of a certain Robert 
King in 1644, wno ' 1S described as "minister." There 
must have been 
some exciting 
scenes in Pickering 
at this time, for 
in the year 1644, 
when many other 
churches suffered a 
similar fate, the 
registers record the 
breaking up of the 
font and the tear- 
ing to pieces of 
the church Prayer 
Book on the same 
day. The entries 
are in very small 
pale writing at the 

back Of One Of the THK FoNT P, CK ERING CHURCH. 

HnnlrQ anH rPAfl II dates > n its present form from 1644, but the upper por- 

UUUivo diiu i^o-ia . tion ^ which shows tfaces of paint i ng( appears to be of very 

much earlier workmanship, and has been thought to be of 
Saxon origin. 

" Baptisterii 

Pickerensis Demolitio, Septemb. 25, 1644." 

And in another hand : 

" Liturgia ecclesie ibidem lacerata eodem die 1 644." 
Edward Bright had several children whose names 

1 66 The Evolution of an English Town 

appear in the registers, and one of them, Joseph 
Bright, was on the iith of July 1652 "elected and 
declared to be the parish clerk of Pickering." He was 
then twenty-five years old. On the night of August 
the 26th, 1634, there was a fire in the town which 
burnt down two houses and caused great fear among 
the inhabitants. Then among other entries on the 
back pages of register No. 2, 1615-53, appear recipes 
of this character : 

" A [cure ?] for the dropsie in ye winter. Take a 
gallon of white wine and broome ashes to the quantitie 
[a few indecipherable words] sifted and drinke a pint 
thereof morning and [cause ?] it [to ?] be drunken 
also at meale times with ones meats and at other 
times when one is drie a little quantitie. Matthew 
Mitso . . e." 

" For the same in Summer. Take a pecke of sage 
and bake it in a riddon (?) pastie, and when it is baked 
to a hard crust breake there crust and all in it ... 
and . . . unne it up all into a barrell of drinke, 
and drinke it in the Sumer time especially in maye." 

" A r erne a die for the stick. 

<c Take a j d . of treacle a j d of aqua-vite and a j d of 
sal ... and apply them to the place." 

" A medicine for wormes. 

" Take lavander c . . . unset leekes an ox(' or bull ' 
Inserted above] gall and cumin seed, fry these togither 

Seventeenth Century Remedies 167 

with . (?) . and lay them warme in a linnen clath 
to the childes belly." 

Some other remedies that belong to this period 
were discovered by Mr Blakeborough l in this neigh- 
bourhood. I have taken them from the original 
seventeenth century writing : 

" Take for to clear the eyes i ounce of 
dried batts bloode groude to powder & white 
hens bloode & dung sift & when they be well 
mixed & quite dry then blowe a little in the ill 
eye & yt shall soon be well." 

a For a pinne or webbe in ye eye. 

" Take ye galle of an hare the gall of a mowerpate 
and of a wild cat and honey and hogs lard a like quan- 
tity mix all together and annoynt y e eye w th a feather 
dipped in yt and yt shalle be soon cured." 

The details of a remedy " For a fallynge sickness " 
though possibly considered very efficacious are too 
repulsive for modern ears. 

The following recipe, " For the making of Honey 
Cakes. Certayne to be acceptable to y e Fairy Folk," 
is from the same source and is dated 1605 : 

" Taike of wilde honey thre ounce, of powder' d 
dill sede half ounce swete violet roote in fine powder 2 
drachmes and six ounces of white wheaten meal which 
you will bringe to a light dowgh these thinges being 
all mixed together with faire water. This done with 

1 Calvert's MS. book in the possession of Mr Richard Blakeborough. 

1 68 The Evolution of an English Town 

a silver spune helde in ye hand of a sure maid one be 
you sure who hath not as yet owther yielded her own 
or do then or ever hath worn a garter band there 
bound by her lover for such be not fitt and proper 
maids for the maykinge of Fairy Cakes. The Cakes 
thus mayde be they to the number of seven unbaked 
and mayde to the biggness of a marke. These cakes 
thus mayde may be used by any one wishfull to inter- 
cede with or begge a boon from the Fairy folk alwaie 
being mindfull of this matter be she passing as a maid 
lett her not dare to mayke use of the cakes." Then 
follows the story of the evils that befell " one Sarah 
Heugh who well knowing herself alacking her maiden- 
head " tried to pass herself off to the fairies as a " true " 

Coming back to the registers of Pickering we find 
that on the I3th August 1694 Archbishop Sharp held a 
confirmation in the church and confirmed about a 
thousand persons. The note is given in Latin as 
follows : 

"Memorandum. 13 die Augusti 1694 Johannes 
Divma providentia Eboracensis Archiepiscopus in 
ecclesia parochial! de Pickeringe Mille (aut eo circita) 
Baptizatos Xti Relligioni Confirmavit. 

"Vicarius Ib? 

The parcel gilt Chalice still in use at Pickering 
Church belongs to this period. It is dated 1613, and 
was made by Christopher Harrington, the goldsmith 

A Forgotten Bequest 169 

of York. The paten was made in 1712 by Seth 
Lofthouse of London. 

During the Commonwealth Levisham and Pickering 
parishes seem to have been joined from 1653 to 1661. 
The Levisham burials and births appear in the Pickering 
registers. Among the regular entries of deaths at 
Pickering are recorded : 

" 1619. Jane Greenwood a stranger buried March. 
1631. Ellen Kirbye a poore Girle buried. 
1634. A poor traveller buried here the 3 day of 

1636. Gawen Pollard pauper Generosus 3oth 


It would be interesting to know how a pauper 
came to be a " generosus." 

A bequest dated 1658 that seems to have been 
entirely forgotten appears in one of the registers. It 
says : " Be it Remembred that Robert Huggett of 
great Edston In the County of yourke Labourer did 
by his last will and Testamente bearinge date the 
Eleaventh day of January in the yeare of Grace one 
Thousande Sixe hundred fifty Eight give & bequeste 
unto Elizabeth Huggett his Mother in Law all that 
his Cottage or Tennemente att Pickeringe with all & 
singular the Appurtenances theirunto belongeing duringe 
hir life Natural! and No longer and then to Come unto 
James Coates of little Barugh Husbandman all the 
Right & Title of the above saide Tennemente in 
Pickeringe aforsaide after the death of my saide Mother 

1 70 The Evolution of an English Town 

in Law Hee payinge theirfor year by & every 
yeare for Ever the some of Twelve shilling of Law- 
full money of Englande to be paide unto the Poore of 
Pickeringe att the feaste of Sainte Martin the bishopp 

in winter to begine 
the firste paymente at 
Martinmas after the 
death of my saide 
Mother in Law & not 
before which Twelve 
shilling shall be dis- 
tributede at the dis- 
cretion of the saide 
James Coats or his 
assignes Togeather with 
the advice of the Church 
wardins & overseers of 
the saide towne of 
Pickeringe for the time 

The briefs collected 
at Pickering for various 
purposes were very numerous between 1661 and 1665; 
they are set out elaborately at the back of one of the 
registers, but they are given below in condensed form I- 

1 66 1. July 28. 6s. 6d. for Condover Church, Shropshire. 

Sept. 8. 6s. Parish Church of Pontefract. 

Nov. lo. 45. 2d. for the losses of Henry Harrison, mariner. 

Nov. 3. 135. yd. for the poor Protestants of Lithuania. 


In the Days of the Civil War 1 7 1 

1661 Aug. ii. 55. I od. for the Parish Church of Scarborough. 
Dec. 15. 55. for the Parish Church, Dalby-Chalcombe, in 

the County of Leicester. 
Dec. 29. 53. for the reparation for the Collegiate Church 

of Rippon. 
Jan. 29. 33. 4d. for the loss of Christopher Greene of 

Beighton, in the County of Derby. 
Feb. 23. 45. 4d. Brief by his Majesty's special order for 

promoting the trade of fishing. 
1662. April 6. 45. for the loss of Thomas Welby in the County 


13. 43. 4d. for the loss of William Copperthwaite. 
No date. 55. for the relief of John Wolrich of (erased) 

County of StafFords. 

1665. April 1 6. 43. 2d. for the repairing of the Parish Church of 
Tinmouth, in the County of Northumberland. 

The system of briefs became subject to great abuses, 
and in 1828 it was abolished. Most of the Pickering 
collections were very small, but the people evidently 
had some sympathy for the poor Protestants of 
Lithuania, for they gave nearly three times as much as 

Despite the statement made by Clark in his 
valuable book on " Mediaeval Military Architecture in 
England " that " Pickering was held for the king in 
the Parliamentary struggles," I can find no records to 
show that this was so or that any fighting took place 
there during the Civil War. I have searched many 
volumes of tracts relating to the period for any 
reference to Pickering, but although Scarborough on 
the east and Helmsley on the west are frequently 
mentioned, and details of the sieges and surrenders 
given, yet I have found no statement concerning 

1 7 2 The Evolution of an English Town 

Pickering. I must, however, mention that at least 
two iron cannon balls have been discovered in recent 
times embedded in the ground beneath the western 
walls of the castle. 

In a Cromwellian survey found by Mr R. B. 
Turton, among the records of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1 
there is, however, a most valuable account of the castle 
dated July ijfth, 1651. It mentions damage done by 
the soldiers " in the time of the late warrs," but it also 
tells us that much lead, wood and iron was taken to 
Scarborough Castle by Sir Hugh Cholmley, which 
seems to show conclusively that the place was not 
defended. The Cromwellian soldiers were probably 
quartered in the somewhat ruined castle and used what 
timber they could find for lighting their fires. The 
survey of 1651 is as follows : 

"The capital Messuage is scituate on the North 
side of Pickering Towne and knowne by the name of 
Pickering Castle ; the Entrance whereof lyeth on the 
South through a Gatehouse which is somewhat (qu : 
decayed) in respect that all the covering is taken away. 
The outside gate you enter into a Spatious Court con- 
tayneing one Acre and three Roodes more or less ; on 
which (on the East side) close adjoyning to the said 
Gate standeth a ruynous howse partly covered with 
Slate, in which were lately three severall Roomes below 
Staires, and as many above. But in the time of the 
late warrs, all the floares for the chambering have 

1 "North Riding Record Society's Publications," vol. i, New Series, 
p. 65. 

Destructive Soldiers 173 

been pulled down by the Souldiers insomuch the whole 
howse is ready to fall, there being hardly any thing left 
to support the Roofe ; The owt walles being partly 
built of Stone and part of Timber and the sparrs which 
are fastned to the mayne wall of the Castle do still 
remayne. Further eastward to the said howse along 
the wall standeth a Towre knowne by the Name of 
Dyet TOWTC, in which there hath beene three severall 
Roomes with other Conveniencyes thereunto belonging, 
which with litle Cost may bee made habitable, but the 
Lead Wood and Iron was by S r Hugh Cholmley (as 
we are informed) carryed to Scarbrough Castle. 
Further along the said Wall standeth an other Tower 
North to the aforesaid howse and knowne by the 
Name of Rossimund Towre, the walls in good repaire, 
but the Wood Leade and Iron quite taken away. 
On the West side of the aforesaid Gate along the Wall 
standeth an other Tower knowne by the Name of 
Milne Tower, built within all of hewen stone with a 
staire Case of the same, conteyneing one Roome above 
lately used for a lodging chamber, but within these six 
or seven yeares all the Iron Lead and wood have been 
taken away and nothing left besides the out walles 
which are in very good repaire and one Rotten beame 
which lyeth cross the topp of the said Towre. On the 
North side of the said Court opposite to the Gate 
standeth an other Gate which is the Entrance over a 
decayed bridg into the midle Castle and leadeth into an 
other spatious Court conteyneing two Roodes more or 
less. On the North east of the said Gate standeth a 

174 The Evolution of an English Town 

fourth Tower knowne by the name of Coleman Towre 
contenyneing two Roomes, but the floars covering and 
all the wood is taken away. On the West side of the 
said Court standeth a Large Ruyned hall almost all 
fallen to the ground nothing of the Timber remayneing. 
At North end of which hall Eastward standeth one 
howse covered with slate and in indifferent good repaire 
conteyneing one Roome and knowne by the Name of 
the Chappell which is now used for keepeing of Courts 
for the Honor aforesaid. On the backside of which 
lyeth a third Court conteyneing two Roodes more or 
less in which hath been diverse buildings but now 
ruyned and fallen to the ground. In the midst of the 
whole Castle standeth a mount conteyneing one Acre 
on which there is a spatious, ruyned, and old decayed 
building being nothing but ruyned walls which in many 
places begin to fall downe. The said building is 
commonly knowne by the name of the Moate. The 
Materialles of the said Castle (which are there now 
remayneing), as the Timber hewen stone and slate, wee 
estimate to bee worth in ready money (besides the 
charge of takeing them downe) CC H . The Ground 
lying within the walls and Ditches of the Castle afore- 
said conteyne in the whole three Acres and three 
Roodes which is worth upon Improvem* p. Ann. C s -" 
The story which has already been mentioned of 
the wanton destruction by the Parliamentary soldiers of 
ancient documents that had been preserved in the Castle 
may quite reasonably be true, but unfortunately 
Hinderwell, who seems to have been the first to record 

Mustering the Train-Bands 175 

the tale, 1 does not give any authority for his statement. 
Another story which is sometimes mentioned among 
the people of Pickering states that Parliamentary 
soldiers were quartered in the church during the Civil 
War, but we can place no reliance upon the legend. 
Some details of the raising of train bands in the district 
are given in the memoirs of Sir Hugh Cholmley, the 
gallant defender of Scarborough Castle, Writing of 
the year 1636, he says, "I was at this time made 
Deputy-lieutenant and Colonel over the Train-bands 
within the hundred of Whitby Strand, Ryedale, 
Pickering, Lythe, and Scarborough Town." Three 
years later Sir Hugh tells us that in preparation for the 
king's march against the Scots, he had much business 
in mustering and training the soldiers of the Train- 
bands, and many journeys to York to consult with the 
Vice-President and other Deputy-Lieutenants. " About 
June the king sent down his army into Yorkshire, and 
himself came to it in August. The Earl of North- 
umberland was General from whom I had a commission. 
Divers of the colonels of the Train-bands, with their 
regiments, were called to march with the king into 
Northumberland ; amongst which I had been one, but 
at that time I had caught cold and a dangerous sick- 
ness, in raising and training my whole regiment together 
on Paxton-Moor near Thornton, where one Hallden, 
a stubborn fellow of Pickering, not obeying his captain, 
and giving me some unhandsome language, I struck 
him with my cane, and felled him to the ground. The 

Thomas Hinder well, "History of Scarborough," 1811, p. 350. 

176 The Evolution of an English Town 

cane was tipped with silver, and hitting just under the 
ear, had greater operation than I intended. But either 
the man was ill or else counterfeited so, to be freed from 
service ; which I willingly granted, and glad when he 
was well : but it was a good monition not to be hasty 
in the like or any other provocation, for passion doth 
not only blind the judgement but produceth other ill 

In 1640, when Sir Hugh (as a burgess for Scar- 
borough) was attending the Short Parliament in London, 
his regiment was commanded to march to the Scottish 
Border. His brother Henry Cholmley, being Lieut- 
Colonel, went with it, but at Durham they were ordered 

In November 1641 Sir Hugh was again attending 
Parliament, and at that time he feared the advance of the 
Scots into Yorkshire, "which," he says, "did not a 
little disquiet my mind and thoughts for my dear wife 
and children; the snow being so great, I could not 
possibly remove them so soon as I desired " ; " but at 
the latter end of February, as soon as the ways were 
passable, I had her and all my family in London." 
It must have been an unusually prolonged period of 
snow to keep Sir Hugh and his family apart for two 
or three months. Roxby Castle was his birthplace, 
and his account of his early years there includes an 
accident which might have had fatal results. 

" I was," he says, " the first child of my dear 
mother, born upon the 22nd of July, being a Tuesday, 
and on the feast day commonly called Mary Mag- 

! rt 

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r- jS HH 

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ttJ *J ^2; ~ C! ^ W S 

3J J 8 d * fe*' -^ 

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178 The Evolution of an English Town 

dalen's day, in the year of our Lord God 1 600, at a 
place called Roxby, in the country of York, within 
the Hundred of Pickering lythe near to Thornton, 
now much demolished, but heretofore the chief seat of 
my great-grandfather, and where my grandfather, Sir 
Henry Cholmley, then lived, which place (since I was 
married was sold by my father and self, towards the 
payment of his debts)." 

Sir Hugh then describes his weakness as a child due 
to the fault of his nurse. This gave him such " a cast 
back " that he was a weak and sickly child for many years. 

" At three years old, the maid which attended me 
let me tumble out of the great chamber window at 
Roxby, which (by God's providence) a servant waiting 
upon my grandfather at dinner espying, leaped to the 
window, and caught hold of my coat, after I was out 
of the casement. Soon after I was carried to my father 
and mother, who then lived with her brother Mr John 
Legard, at his house at Ganton nine miles from Roxby, 
where I continued for the most part until I was seven 
years old ; then my father and mother going to keep 
house at Whitby, went with them, and beginning to 
ride a little way by myself, as we passed over a common, 
called Paston moor [? Paxton, above Ellerburne] one of 
my father's servants riding beside me, I had a desire to 
put my horse into a gallop ; but he running away, I cried 
out, and the servant taking hold of my arm, with an in- 
tention to lift me from my horse, let me fall between 
both, so that one of them, in his gallop, trod on my 
hat ; yet, by God's protection, I caught no harm." 

Sir Hugh Cholmley and the Pigs 179 

When his father was living at Whitby he had 
another narrow escape. " The next year," he writes, 
" being 1 608 upon my very birth-day, being the feast 
of Mary Magdalen, and I just eight years old, by 
God's great Providence, I escaped as great, if not 
greater danger than this; which was, that, at my 
Father's house, at Whitby aforesaid, there was a great 
fierce sow, having two pigs near a quarter old, which 
were to be reared there, lying close together asleep, 
near to the kitchen door, I being alone, out of folly and 
waggery, began to kick one of them ; in the interim 
another rising up, occasioned me to fall upon them all, 
and made them cry ; and the sow hearing, lying close 
by, came and caught me by the leg, before I could get 
up, and dragged me half a score yards, under the win- 
dow of the room now called the larder, and what in 
respect of the age and the amazement I was in, could not 
help myself; from the leg she fell to bite me in the groin 
with much fierceness ; when the butler, carrying a glass 
of beer to my father (then in his chamber) hearing me 
cry, set down the beer on the hall table, and running 
out, found the sow passing from my groin to my 

Another famous name connected with this period is 
that of George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham. 
After the death of Charles II. the royal favourite re- 
tired to his seat at Helmsley, his strength being very 
much impaired by the vicious life he had led at Court. 
He seems to have devoted himself to hunting and open- 
air sports. Certain stories connected with the Duke 


1 80 The Evolution of an English Town 

and mixed up with the usual superstitions were told to 
Calvert nearly a hundred years ago. 

Near the Checkers' Inn at Slapstean," he says, 
there stood until a few years agone the cottage in 
which there lived many years sen one Isaac Haw, who 
in his day did hunt the fox with George Villiers, and 
many a queer story did he use to tell. Here be one. 
There lived on the moor not over an hour's ride from 
Kirkby Moorside, one Betty Scaife, who had a 
daughter Betty, a good like wench." George Villiers 
seeing this girl one day is said to have induced her 
to become his mistress either by force or with her 
mother's consent. After having a dream she told 
Villiers to come near her no more, foretelling at the 
same time the time and death he would die. He was 
so affected by this that he is said to have ridden 
away and never seen her again. 

Haw also tells how he once rode on the moor with 
the spirit of the Duke of Buckingham, being not aware 
at the time that his Grace was dead. Villiers made 
an arrangement that when both were dead and the 
devil gave them a holiday they would both hunt 
together on a certain moor. 

"There be those whose word has been handed 
down to us," continues Calvert, " who sware to having 
seen these two ahunting of a spirit fox with a spirit 
pack of a moonlight night. I know one who hath 
in memory a song of that day anent these two but 
it be so despert blasfemous that for the very fear of 
injuring the chance of my own soul's salvation I do 

The Duke of Buckingham 1 8 1 

forbear to give it, but if it be that you wish to copy 
on't, one Tom Gale a cobbler living in Eastgate 
Pickering hath to my knowledge a copy on't." 



The window of the bedroom is shown in the illustration. It is on the first floor at the right 
hand side of the house. 

The Duke lived to the age of sixty in spite of his 
life of unbridled vice, and it seems that a sudden illness 
seized him after a hard day's hunting, and he died at 
the house in Kirby Moorside where he was taken 
instead of to Helmsley. The house is still standing, 
and one may even see the room in which the reckless 

1 82 The Evolution of an English Town 

Duke expired. As may be seen from the illustration 
the house is a good one, and at that time must have 
been, with one exception, the best in the village. The 
lines by Pope descriptive of the favourite's death are, 
therefore, quite unwarranted : 

" In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half hung, 
The floors of plaster and the walls of dung." 

It never was an inn, and the Rev. R. V. Taylor l 
has discovered that the house was in the occupation of 
one of his tenants. I have carefully examined the 
house without finding anything to suggest that such 
squalor could have ever existed there. The staircase 
is very picturesque, and one of the brass drop 
handles on the bedroom doors shows that the building 
was a good one. The bedroom in which the Duke 
died has the fireplace blocked up ; there is a recessed 
window containing a seat, and the walls, where they 
are panelled, are of fir, although the larger beams 
throughout the house seem to be of oak. 

The sudden demise of this famous man must have 
created a sensation in the village, and although the 
body was not buried at Kirby Moorside, the parish 
register of that time has this illiterate entry 2 

" buried in the year e of our Lord 1687 

Marke Reame Aprill y e 12 

Gorges viluas Lord dooke of booklrtgam etc. 19" 

A letter from Lord Arran to the Duke's late 

1 "Yorkshire Notes and Queries," May 1904, p. 68. 

2 The third volume of the registers at the top of page 4. 

Embalming the Duke's Body 183 

chaplain, dated April lyth, 1687, Sa 7 s > "I have 
ordered the corpse to be embalmed and carried to 
Helmsley Castle and there to remain till my Lady 
Duchess her pleasure shall be known. There must 
be speedy care taken; for there is nothing here but 
confusion, not to be expressed. Though his stewards 
have received vast sums, there is not so much as one 
farthing, as they tell me, for defraying the least 
expense." From this it appears that he died on or 
before the i yth of April, and that after the embalming 
process had been performed the intestines were buried 
at Kirby Moorside on the igth and not on the lyth, 
as stated by Gill in his " Vallis Eboracensis." 

One of the tattered registers l of Kirby Moorside 
also contains the following remarkable entry : 

" Dorythy Sowerbie of Bransdales (slayne with 6 
bullett by theeves in the night) was buryed the 2jth 
(sic) Day of May 1654." A few years before this 
in 1650 the burial is recorded of "a stranger y< sold 
stockins." On the first page of the register dated 
1704, the vicar, "M. James Musgrave," gives a list 
of "things belonging to the churich a surplus, a 
Hud, a challis, a patton, tow-flaggons [these are of 
pewter and are kept in the church], a putter Dubler, 
a Tabill clorth, on napkin. A dubler for christening." 

During this period the Duchy records show that 
Pickering Forest was still being robbed of its oaks, 
some of them being used to repair the defences of 
Scarborough Castle during the Civil War. 

i Vol. ii. p. 2 

j 84 The Evolution of an English Town 

" Wee are informed that there were xxx tie Trees on 
thereaboutes cut downe in Newton dale within the 
said fForest and carried to Scarbrough Castle bypo o o" 
Order from Sir Hugh Cholmley then Gouernor of 
the same, to the value of J 

Some of the other entries at the same time are 
given below. 1 

" Wee are informed that divers olde trees are cut downe 
within the fForest of Pickeringe in a place called 
Deepdale and Helley Greene by Robert Pate by the 600 
Appointment of Mathew ffranke Esquire to the 
value of J 

Likewise wee are informed that John Hassell gent"! 
hath cut downe diuers trees in Dalbye within the j-ip 
said fForest to the value of 

Wee are likewise informed that Beatrice Hassell widdow^l 
hath cut downe diuers trees in Dalbye Haggesli2 
within the said fForest, to the value of J 

Wee are likewise informed That seuerall Tennantes oF 
Goatland haue cut downe two hundred Trees and 
more within the fForest in the North part of Newton- 
dale and Gillwood to the value of 

And that Robert fFranke gent did take Composicions 
and summes of money of seuerall of the said 
Tennants of Goatland for the same wood. 

And allso we are informed that there hath bene cut> 
downe Two hundred Trees in Haughe Hagge 

within the said fForest, And that the said Trees were 
cut downe and Carried away by the poore people of 
Pickeringe in the yeares 1647 and 1648 to the 
value of 

s. a. 


40 o o 

1 From a thin foolscap book containing, inter a/ia, the findings of the 
Juries of the Courts Leet, etc., in the possession of the Rev. Arthur Hill 
of Thornton-le-dale 

Stocks, Shambles, and Market Cross 185 

From the same book we discover that 

" George Grayson holdes by Copie of Court Roll one 
Cottage in Pickeringe and one Garth thereunto be- 
longing, dated the nth of Aprill 1659 And was 
admitted Tennant thereof by John Syms then 
Steward and paid ffine o o 4" 

This is of considerable interest in view of the fact 
that the Grayson family are still tenants of the Duchy. 

Tenants are mentioned as holding property in 
" Smiddiehill " and " Hungate Greene," and the entry 
given below is interesting on account of the mention 
of the market cross that has completely disappeared. 

" Jane Moone widdow holdes one Messuage and one 
parcell of waste ground in Pickering neare to the 
Market Crosse and was admitted Tennant thereof 
by John Sym, now deputie Steward, by Copie dated 
the 22d of November 1659 : And P a ^ ^ ne f r P er 
Admittance ... o 8 i" 

Many of the small houses of Pickering must have 
been built at this time. One near the castle gateway 
has a stone in the gable end bearing the initials 
E. C. W., and the date 1646, another with a thatched 
roof on the south side of Eastgate, dated 1677, * s now 
fast going to ruin. The roofs were no doubt at that 
time chiefly covered with thatch, and the whole town 
must have been extremely picturesque. The stocks, 
the shambles, and the market cross stood in the centre 
of the town, and there were none of the unpleasant 
features that modern ideas, unchecked by a sense of 
fitness and proportion, bring in their wake. 

1 86 The Evolution of a English Town 

The castle, we have seen, was in a far more perfect 
state than at the present time, but the church must have 
appeared much as it does to-day. The circular wooden 
pulpit is Georgian, and thus the one that preceded it 
has disappeared. Two of the three bells that still 
hang in the tower bear the date 1638. The treble 
bell is inscribed " Praise the Lord," and sounds the 
note G sharp. The middle bell gives F sharp and the 
inscription is " Soli deo gloria." Hanging in the bell- 
cote of the schools adjoining the church is the small 
bell dated 1632 that was removed from the Bruce 
Chapel in 1857 when the schools were built. Before 
that date children were taught in the Bruce Chapel. 

In Archbishop Sharp's manuscripts (page 106) pre- 
served at Bishopthorpe there is a detailed account of the 
parish of Pickering. It is dated 1706, and is given 
under the heading of " Dean of York's Peculiars." 
There are numerous abbreviations, but the meaning is 
plain in most instances. 

" Pickering Vic. St Peter and St Paul. 

" 1706. No Papist. 

4C A[nno] R[egni] Edw. I. 13. The Manor, Castle, 
Forest of Pickering were given to Edmund E. of 
Lancaster and so became thenceforward part of that 
Dutchy. The Church of Pickering was by Hen. I. 
given to the Deanery of York, w th the soke thereof 
and all the chappells and tithes belonging. It is let at 
the rent of 100 li. 

" The Vicarage consists of a house &c. And the tithe 

The centre of many village festivities in the past centuries. 

The Vicar's Tithes 189 

Hay of Garths w ch may yield 7 or 8 Load in a year 
to the vicar, and all the small tithes of the Parish. 
Besides an augmentation of 2o li p an. made since the 

" This is a large parish in w ch are 2 Chappells neither 
of them endowed as the minister Mr Newton tells me, 
but he allows 5 th to a neighboring minister to serve the 
one and the other he goes to himself. This vicarage, 
of the D DS Collation is val in my B at 28 H . It is I hope 
worth 6o H [not above 40 K. B. 8. 3. 9. T i6-4ob.] 
Ibe Deans Tenant pays 20^ of if. 

" Within this Parish are the Towns of Newton upon 
Rocliff, Blansby Park, Kinthorp. Here also is 
Dereholm Grange and Loft Maress Grange. 1707. 
41 (indistinct) John Pickering Vr. ; 1715 Robert 
Hargreaves, Vicar; 1740 Sam 1 Hill Vicar. 

" 1745. George Dodsworth. 

" 1706. Papists 9. s. D. 

"The Chappell of Goteland. 1716 400 

" Being distant above 8 miles from the Parish Church 
was by Dean Scot A. D. 1635 allowed the privilege of 
Sepulture for the inhab. Saveing to the Mother 
Church all its dues 1706 Certifyd by ye (indistinct) to 
the Dean to be worth 400 Arising out of 
Surplice Fees and Voluntary Contribution William 
Prowde, Curate 1722 Jonathan Robinson, Curate." 

The country folk were in much the same state in 
regard to their morals and superstitions as in the 
Georgian Era described in the next chapter, but it is of 
great interest to know that efforts towards improvement 

The Evolution of an English Town 

were being made as early as the year 1708. The 
following account given by Calvert of an attempt to 
stop the May dance at Sinnington would show either 
that these picturesque amusements were not so harmless 
as they appear at this distance, or else that the " Broad 
Brims " were unduly severe on the innocent pleasures 

An inverted stone coffin of much earlier date used as a seventeenth century gravestone 
at Wykeham Abbey. 

of the time. The account is taken by Calvert " from 
one Nares book." 

" In the year 1708 there did come a great company 
of Broad Brims for to stop the May Dance about the 
pole at Sinnington, and others acting by concert did 
the like at Helmsley, Kirby Moorside and Slingsby, 
singing and praying they gat them round about the 
garland pole whilst yet the may Queen was not yet 
come but when those with flute and drum and dancers 
came near to crown the Queen the Broad Brims did 
pray and sing psalms and would not give way while 
at the finish up there was like for to be a sad end to 

Interrupting the May Dance 191 

the day but some of the Sinnington Bucks did join 
hands in a long chain and thus swept them clean from 
the pole. At Slingsby there was a great dordum of a 
fight, but for a great while the Broad Brims have set 
their faces against all manner of our enjoyment." 

Fine examples of the carved oak cabinets, chests, 
and other pieces of furniture of this period still survive 
in some of the houses of Pickering. The cabinets 
generally bear the date and the initials of the maker, 
and the I.B. to be seen on some of the finest pieces 
from this district are the initials of John Boyes of 
Pickering, whose work belongs chiefly to the time of 
William and Mary. 


The Forest and Vale in Georgian Times, 
1714 to 1837 

WITH the accession of King George the First 
in 1714 we commence a new section of the 
history of Pickering, a period notable in its 
latter years for the sweeping away to a very large 
extent of the superstitions and heathen practices which 
had survived until the first quarter of the nineteenth 

The town had probably altered very little in its 
general appearance since the time of the Restoration. 
Most of the roofs were thatched; the castle was 
probably more dismantled within the outer walls, 
but the church of the Georgian period must have 
been almost identically the same as during the century 
that preceded it, and as it remained until the restora- 
tion in 1879. 

At the top of the market-place stood the stocks at 
the side of the old stone-built shambles that disappeared 
in 1857, having for many generations formed a back- 
ground to the groups of buyers and sellers in the steep 
and picturesque street. We can people the scene with 
the quaint costumes of the eighteenth century ; knee- 
breeches and long waistcoats are to be seen in every 


The Mail-driver's Pistol 193 

direction, the three-cornered hat and the wig tied with 
a black ribbon are worn by the better classes. The 
wives and daughters of the squires and lesser gentry 
reflect in a modified form the fashions prevailing in 
London, and to be observed in actuality among the gay 
crowds that thronged the Spa at Scarborough, assuming 
and discarding the hooped-petticoat according to the 
mode of the moment. We can see the farmers of the 
Vale and those from the lonely dales discussing the news 
of the week and reading the scarce and expensive news- 
papers that found their way to Pickering. How much 
they understood of the reasons for the great European 
wars and alliances it is not easy to say, but when the 
reports came of victories to the British armies, assisted 
although they may have been by paid allies, the patriotic 
feelings of these Yorkshiremen did not fail to manifest 
themselves in a heavier consumption of beer than usual. 
We can hear the chink of glasses and the rattle of 
pewter tankards in the cosy parlours of the " White 
Swan," the " George," and the rest ; we can hear as the 
years go by the loud cheers raised for Marlborough, 
for Wolfe, for Nelson, or for Wellington, while over- 
head the church bells are ringing loudly in the old 
grey tower. These were the days of the highwaymen, 
and even as late as 1830 a postman was robbed near 
the moorland village of Lockton, on his way to Whitby. 
The driver of the mailcart at that time used to carry 
a large brass-mounted cavalry pistol, which was handed 
to him when he had mounted his box by one of the 
two old ladies who acted as the post-mistresses of 

1 94 The Evolution of an English Town 

Pickering. It is not much more than ten years since 
the death of Francis Gibson, a butcher of East 
Ayton, who was over a hundred years old and 
remembered the capture of the last highwayman who 
was known to carry on the old-time profession in the 
neighbourhood. He was tracked to an inn at East 
Ayton where he was found sleeping. Soon afterwards 
he found himself on the road to York, where he was 

The road across Seamer Moor between Ayton and 
Scarborough was considered sufficiently dangerous for 
those who travelled late to carry firearms. Thus we 
can see Mr Thomas Chandler of the Low Hall at 
West Ayton a Justice of the Peace having dined 
with some relations in Scarborough, returning at a late 
hour. The lights of his big swinging barouche drawn 
by a pair of fat chestnuts shine out on the white road ; 
the country on either side is unenclosed, and masked 
men may appear out of the shadows at any moment. 
But if they are about they may have heard that Mr 
Chandler carries a loaded pistol ready for emergencies, 
for they always let him reach his house in safety. 

To the simple peasants highwaymen were probably 
considered of small account in comparison to the 
apparitions that haunted many parts of the lonely 
country. Nearly every part of the moor had its own 
wraith or boggle, and the fear of these ghosts was so 
widespread that in many cases the clergy were induced 
to publicly lay them, after which were seen no more. 

To record the advent of these strange beliefs is im- 

Elves and Fairies 195 

possible, for who can tell how or when they originated ? 
We can only describe them at the time of their de- 
struction. Chaucer, writing in the fourteenth century, 
seemed to imagine that belief in elves and fairies had 
received its death-blow in his own time, for in " The 
Wife of Bath's Tale," he says 

" In tholde dayes of the Kyng Arthour, 
Of which that Britons speken greet honour, 
All was this land fulfild of fa'irye. 
The elf queene with hir joly compaignye 
Daunced ful ofte in many a greene mede. 
This was the olde opinion as I rede, 
I speke of manye hundred yeres ago, 
But now kan no man se none elves mo, 
For now the grete charitee and prayeres 
Of lymtours, and othere hooly freres, 
That serchen every lond and every streem, 
As thikke as mote's in the sonne beem, 
Blessynge halles, chambres, kichenes, boures, 
Citees, burghes, castels, hye toures 
Thrbpes, bernes, shipnes, dayeryes, 
This maketh that ther been no fairyes." 

Five hundred years, however, had to pass before 
the most implicit belief in hobs, wraiths, and boggles 
was to disappear, and even at the present day those who 
have intimate associations with the population of the 
North Yorkshire moors know that traces of the old 
superstitions still survive. 

Several books have been written on the folklore of 
Yorkshire and from them it is possible to get a rough 
idea of the superstitions common to many parts of the 
country, but these do not particularly concern the district 

196 The Evolution of an English Town 

surrounding Pickering. We should probably have 
never heard of many curious facts specially belonging 
to this part of the county if a small manuscript book of 
closely written notes had not been discovered by Mr 
Richard Blakeborough of Stockton-on-Tees, who has 
kindly allowed me to quote from it. The stories were 
collected by one George Calvert, who writes in 1823, 
and frequently mentions that the customs he describes 
were rapidly dying out. Under the heading of 
" Witch Hags who have dwelt hereabouts " he writes 

" They be so great in number that mayhap it will 
shew the more wisdom if mention be made only of 
those who in their day wrought some wondrous deed 
or whose word cast fear upon all." 

From this list I have picked out those that belong 
to the neighbourhood of Pickering, and by the letters 
placed after each name one can discover in the key 
given below the special arts practised by each 

"Nancy Nares o' Pickering" [T V Z W Y]. 
"Nanny Pearson o' Goathland" [X]. 
" Nan Skaife o' Spaunton Moor," 

called also Mary or Jenny. 
" Aud Mother Migg o' Cropton " [Z]. 

(Her real name was Sabina Moss). 
" Sally Craggs o' Allerston" [V Z]. 
" Dina Sugget o' Levisham" [W Z]. 
"Hester Mudd o' Rosedale" [T Vj. 
"And Emma Todd o' Ebberston" [Y]. 

Concerning Witches 197 


T Did also use the evil eye. 

U Could turn thersels into a hare. 

V Could turn thersels into a cat. 

W Had a familiar. 

X Could cripple a quickening bairn. 

Y Well up in all matters of the black art. 

Z Did use ye crystal. 

" All these," says Calvert, " were at one time of 
great note and did in their day work great deed and 
cast many an evil spell and charm and were held in 
great fear by great many good and peaceful folk. 
It be not for me to here put an argument in the 
favour of what do now be doubted and scorned by 
some. I will but say that I have seen and know that 
which hath been wrought by these hags o* the broom 
and of their power which they held at their beck and 
wink the which is not to be set on one side at the 
flip and flout of our young masters and misses, fresh 
from some teaching drove into their brain pans by some 
idiotick and skeptick French teacher. I therefore say 
no more on this matter." 

Nancy Skaife of Spaunton Moor had a wonderful 
receipt for making a magic cube, and as she was a 
famous witch of her time and was reputed to possess 
most remarkable powers of foretelling events to come, 
it will be interesting to learn the ingredients of her 
magic cubes. 

" Get you of the skull the bone part of a gibbetted 

198 The Evolution of an English Town 

man so much as one ounce which you will dry and 
grind to a powder until when searced it be as fine as 
wheatenmeal, this you will put away securely sealed 
in a glass vial for seven years. You will then about 
the coming of the end of that time (for your cube must 
be made on the eve of the day come seven years of 
his gibbetting) get you together these several matters, 




o o o 




O O o o 


o o o o 


Two ways of marking Magic Cubes. (From Calverfs MS. Rook oj Folklore.} 

all well dried and powdered and finely searced so much 
as three barley corns weight of each 

Bullock blood. 

Moudy [mole] blood. 

Great Flitter mouse blood. 

Wild Dove blood. 

Hag-worm head. 

Toade heart. 

Crab eyes. 

Graveyard moss and worms. 

These being all gotten together on the eve of that 
day make a stiff dough of wheaten meal to the which 

Magic Cubes 199 

you will add all the other powders working them to a 
stiff mass and into cubes of one inch square, to be 
pressed to a hollow, then they are to be set away to 
dry in a warm place for seven months to the day 
when with a sharp screever you shall deeply screeve 
the like of these upon each side, but be you mindful 
to screeve in the order as here ordered always turning the 
cube over and towards the left hand, the fifth side by 
turning the cube towards you, the sixth from you and 
thus you make your magic cube." 

" The proper way to draw the virtue from and 
read a forecast with such cubes," says Calvert, " as yet 
I know not, but I learn that one Jane Craggs, a mantu 
maker of Helmsley, not only owns a cube but does at 
times play the craft for the entertainment of her lady 
visitors who wish their fortunes casting. I learn from 
Betty [Ellis] that these cubes were tossed upon the table 
and then used by the consultation of a book like unto 
that of the witche's garter but this book Betty kens 
nothing of its whereabouts. She aims one of her 
grandchilder must have gone off with it." 

In the chapter devoted to Tudor times I have 
given an Elizabethan cure for an " ill caste " by a 
witch, but Calvert also tells us of a method for remov- 
ing the spell from a " witch-held " house. " Of one 
thing I hear," he says, "which be minded unto this 
present day the which be that a bunch of yarrow 
gathered from off a grave and be cast within a sheet 
that hath covered the dead and this be setten fire to and 
cast within the door of any house thought to be witch 

200 The Evolution of an English Town 

held or having gotten upon it a spell of ill-luck, it 
shall be at once cleansed from whatsoever ill there be 
come again it as I hear even fevers and the like are on 
the instant driven forth. And this," he quaintly adds, 
" be worth while of a trial." 

Of the awesome sights to be seen at night time 
Calvert gives many details. 

" There be over anenst Cropton towards West- 
wood seen now and again at times wide asunder a man 
rushing fra those happening to cross his road with 
flaming mouth and having empty eye sockets, a truly 
terrible apparition for to come across of a sudden. 

" At Bog Hall at times there is seen a plain specter 
of a man in bright armour who doth show himself thus 
apparrelled both on the landing and in a certain room. 

" At that point where the Hodge and Dove mix 
their waters there is to be seen on Hallow Een a lovely 
maiden robed in white and having long golden hair 
down about her waist there standing with her bare 
arm thrown about her companion's neck which is a 
most lovely white doe, but she allowed none to come 
near to her. 

" To the west of Brown Howe and standing by a 
boulder there be seen of a summer's eve a maiden there 
seated a-combing out her jet black tresses so as to hide 
her bare breast and shoulders, she looking to be much 
shamed to there do her toilet. 

" And at the high end of Carlton anenst Helmsley 
there be seen at times a lovely maiden much afrighted 
galopping for very life oft casting her een behind her." 

I ~ 





A Lovely Maiden 201 

Concerning the existence of this lovely maiden we 
have indisputable evidence given us, for Calvert says 
that in the year 1762 " Jim Shepherd o' Reskelf seed 
the maiden galloping." 

Then there was the figure of " Sarkless Kitty " ; 
but this spectre, we are told, " having been public laid 
will now be seen never again and as the very mention 
of her name be now a thing forbid by all it must soon 
come to pass that the memory of this lewd hussey will 
be entire forgot and it of a truth be better so." 

But this only rouses one's curiosity, for the spectre 
must have been surpassingly terrible to require the 
suppression of its very name. 

It was in August in the year 1807 or 1809 (the 
manuscript is too much soiled to be sure of the last 
figure) that either the Vicar of Lastingham or his 
curate-in-charge publicly laid this spirit, which had for 
many years haunted the wath or ford crossing the 
river Dove where it runs at no great distance from 
Grouse Hall. 

The ceremony was performed at the request of the 
whole countryside for there was a widespread outcry 
over the last victim. He was a farmer's son who, 
having spent the evening with his betrothed, was 
riding homewards somewhat late, but he never reached 
his house. On the next day his cob was found quietly 
grazing near the dead body of its master lying near the 
ford. There were no signs of a struggle having taken 
place, there were no wounds or marks upon the body, 
and his watch and money had not been touched, 

2O2 The Evolution of an English Town 

so every one concluded that he had seen Sarkless 

In the year 1770 the ford " had come to be of such 
ill repute that men feared to cross after dark and women 
refused to be taken that way," although as far as is 
known it was only men who came to harm from seeing 
Sarkless Kitty. The apparition was that of an exceed- 
ingly lovely girl who appeared " as a nude figure 
standing upon the opposite bank to that of the 
approaching wayfarer." Her beauty was so remark- 
able that those who had the ill-luck to come across 
the spectre could not refrain from gazing at it, and all 
who did so were believed to have died either at the 
same moment or soon afterwards. 

Calvert, however, tells us that one Roland Burdon, 
who possessed a " Holy Seal," came face to face with 
Sarkless Kitty, but fortified by its virtues he survived 
the vision ; then he adds : " This same Roland did 
slay in single combat the great worm or Dragon which 
at one time did invest Beck Hole to the loss of many 
young maidens the which it did at sundry times devour. 
He slew it after a fierce battle lasting over half a day 
throw the great power of the Holy Seal being about 
his person. This worm did also infest Sneaton Moor." 

If we are to believe anything at all of this pro- 
digious story we must place it among those which 
have been handed down from the time of the Danes 
and have become somewhat confused with later 

Coming back to the story of the beautiful spectre 

The Spectre of Sarkless Kitty 203 

we find that in 1782 a certain Thomas Botran wrote 
down all the information he could find out in his 
time concerning the story of Sarkless Kitty, and Mr 
Blakeborough has added to it everything else that he 
has discovered relating to it. 

It seems that there lived near Lastingham towards 
the close of the seventeenth century a girl named Kitty 
Coglan whose beauty was so remarkable that " folk at 
divers times come much out of their way in the pleasant 
hope of a chance for to look upon the sweetness of her 
face." She was, however, extremely vain, and her 
mother seems to have heard stories of her bad conduct, 
for she began to worry herself over her daughter's 
behaviour. Having had a curious dream she asked 
Takky Burton, the wise man of Lastingham, to tell 
her what it meant. He told her that the wonderful 
gem of her dream was her daughter Kitty, who like 
the gem had blemishes beneath the surface. Soon 
after this Kitty married the only son of a small farmer, 
but after they had lived together about four months he 
disappeared, and then Kitty seems to have gone from 
bad to worse. How long after this it was that the 
tragedy occurred is not known, but one day Kitty's 
naked dead body was found by the wath that her 
spirit afterwards haunted. 

Two other stories that were at one time well known 
in the neighbourhood of Pickering must be mentioned. 
One feature of these old time legends is very noticeable, 
that is, how each ends with a moral usually of virtue 
overcoming vice. This was probably in some instances 

204 The Evolution of an English Town 

a new touch of colour given to the stories during the 
time when a religious wave swept over the dales. 

"The White Cow of Wardle Rigg" is a good 
example of an old time legend, that owing to a natural 
process of alteration became gradually fitted to the 
beliefs and superstitions of each age in which it was 
told. How the story came to be localised is not known, 
but in its last phase it had reached this form. 

Once an old couple lived near to Wardle Rigg, and 
bad seasons and other misfortunes had brought the 
wolf very near to their door. One night there passed 
by the humble cottage a little old lady driving along 
a thin and hungry looking white cow, she craved a 
crust and a drink of water for herself and shelter for 
the poor beast, this was readily granted by the old 
couple, they gave the old lady the easy-chair by the 
fire, and gave her of the best from their poor larder. 
She learnt from them how poor they were, and 
sorrowed with them. 

In the middle of the night she called to them, as 
she stole silently out of the house, that for their kind- 
ness she left them all the worldly possessions she had, 
namely her white cow. This they were in no wise 
grateful for, because they could scarcely afford to feed 
it and it was too poor to sell or to hope to draw a 
drop of milk from. 

But in the morning what was their surprise to 
find not a poor three parts starved cow, but a plump 
well fed animal, and with a bag full of milk, it indeed 
gave more milk than any cow they had ever known or 

The White Cow of Wardle Rigg 205 

heard of, their hay had also during the night grown to 
be quite a huge stack. 

It was soon found that their butter was the best in 
all the dales, and was sought after far and wide, so that 
the old people were gradually filling their stocking with 
money. Added to this it was presently discovered that 
all who drank of the white cow's milk were cured, 
almost instantly, of a dreadful plague, which in the 
dales at that time was sending many young folk to an 
early grave. The fame of this wonderful cow soon 
spread. The old couple had given the milk to all those 
who fell ill of the plague, and people came to them 
from far off places. 

It was then that their landlord determined by 
wicked arts to gain possession of this wonderful white 
cow, and sell the milk at a great price. His own child, 
his youngest daughter, falling ill of the plague deter- 
mined him to carry out his evil design, and it was with 
sorrow and tears that the old folk watched their land- 
lord lead their cow away. 

When half way over the moor he was met by an 
old dame, " Where drivest thou my cow ? " she de- 
manded. Getting but a surly reply, and a threat to 
drive over her, she cried, u Let me teach thee how to 
milk my cow." So saying she seized hold of the 
cow's udder, crying out, " There's death in thee, there's 
death in thee," and then ran away. The landlord on 
reaching home was taking a cupful of the magic milk 
to his daughter, but setting it down for a moment a 
cat unseen commenced to lap from the cup and died 

206 The Evolution of an English Town 

instantly. The landlord then saw that in his greed 
he had outwitted himself. The good dame was 
brought to milk it under a promise of restoration, 
and all ended well. 

The other story is known as " The Legend of 
Elphi." Elphi the Farndale dwarf was doubtless at 
one time the central figure of many a fireside story and 
Elphi's mother was almost equally famous. The most 
tragic story in which they both play their leading parts 
is that of Golpha the bad Baron of Lastingham and 
his wicked wire. The mother helped in hiding some 
one Golpha wished to torture. In his rage he seized 
the mother, and sentenced her to be burnt upon the 
moor above Lastingham. 

Elphi, to save his mother, called to his aid thousands 
of dragon-flies, and bade them carry the news far and 
wide, and tell the fierce adders, the ants, the hornets, 
the wasps and the weasels, to hurry early next day to 
the scene of his mother's execution and rescue her. 
Next morning when the wicked Golpha, his wife, and 
their friends gathered about the stake and taunted the 
old dame, they were set upon and killed, suffering 
great agonies. But Elphi and his mother were also 
credited with all the power of those gifted with a full 
knowledge of white magic, and their lives seem to have 
been spent in succouring the weak. Mr Blakeborough 
tells me that the remembrance of these two is now 
practically forgotten, for after most careful enquiry 
during the last two years throughout the greater part 
of Farndale, only one individual has been met with 

Hob-men 207 

who remembered hearing of this once widely known 

The hob-men who were to be found in various 
spots in Yorkshire were fairly numerous around 
Pickering. There seem to have been two types, the 
kindly ones, such as the hob of Hob Hole in Runs- 
wick Bay who used to cure children of whooping- 
cough, and also the malicious ones. Calvert gives a 
long list of hobs "but does not give any idea of their 

Lealholm Hob. 

Hob o' Trush. 

T'Hob o' Hobgarth. 

Cross Hob o' Lastingham. 

Farndale Hob o' High Farndale. 

Some hold Elphi to have been a hob of 

Low Farndale. 
T'Hob of Stockdale. 
Scugdale Hob. 
Hodge Hob o' Bransdale. 
Woot Howe Hob. 
T'Hob o' Brackken Howe. 
T'Hob o' Stummer Howe. 
T'Hob o' Tarn Hole. 
Hob o 1 Ankness. 
Dale Town Hob o' Hawnby. 
T'Hob o' Orterley. 
Crookelby Hob. 
Hob o' Hasty Bank. 

208 The Evolution of an English Town 

T'Hob o' Chop Gate. 
Blea Hob. 
T'Hob o' Broca. 
T'Hob o' Rye Rigg. 
Goathland Hob o' Howl Moor. 
T'Hob o' Egton High Moor. 

The Hob of Lastingham was presumably named 
after the cross above the village, and not on account 
of his disposition. 

Elphi we have seen had an excellent reputation 
and some eulogistic verses on him, written in a u cook 
book" and signed J. L., 1699, give further evidence 
of his good character. 

Elphi bandy legs, Elphi little chap, 

Bent an wide apart, ThofF he war so small 
Neea yan i' this deeal [dale], War big wi deeds o' kindness, 

Awns a kinder heart. Drink tiv him yan an all. 

Elphi great heead Him at fails ti drain dry, 

Greatest ivver seen. Be it mug or glass 

Neea yan i' this deeal Binnot woth a pescod 

Awns a breeter een. Nor a buss fra onny lass. 

About the middle of the eighteenth century the 
people of Cropton were sadly troubled by "a 
company of evil water elves having their abode in a 
certain deep spring at the high end of that village," 
and in order to rid themselves of the sprites, a most 
heathen ceremony was conducted at the spring, " three 
wenches " taking a prominent part in the proceedings 
which are quite unprintable. 

Belief in the power of the witches and wise men 


The little figure shown in the centre is made of pitch, beeswax, bullock's blood, hog's lard, and 
fat from a bullock's heart. It was used for casting spells on people, the pin being stuck in the figure 
wherever the " ill-cast " was required to fall. The magic cube and ring are made of similar in- 
gredients to the figure. The sigils or charms are made of lead. 

The Devil and a Witch 2 1 i 

was universal, and youths and maidens applied to the 
nearest witch in all their love affairs. The magic 
cube, the witches' garter, leaden charms known as 
sigils, and the crystal were constantly in use to secure 
luck, to ward off evil and to read the future. 

One of the witches was believed to have fallen out 
with the Devil for, says Calvert, " John Blades, iron- 
monger of Kirby Moorside, tells me he well minds 
hearing of a despert fierce fight which on a time did 
happen between ye Devil and an old witch over their 
dues, over anenst Yaud Wath (ford) and whilst they 
did so fight, one by stealth did slip himself over and 
in that wise did for ever break her spell." 

I am able to give an illustration of one of the 
figures made by a witch of these parts for causing some 
bodily injury to happen to her client's enemy. The 
custom was a common one in the circles of witchcraft. 
A youth having a rival for the hand of some attractive 
maiden and wishing him every imaginary evil he would 
apply to u Aud Mother Migg" or one of the other 
hags of the neighbourhood and explaining his position 
the witch would prepare a small figure of the rival. 
The ingredients would be of the same class as the 
magic cube already fully described (generally pitch, 
beeswax, hog's lard, bullock's blood, and fat from a 
bullock's heart), and in order to cause his rival to lose 
an eye, or to go lame, or deaf, or to have any particular 
complaint in any particular part of his body the 
jealous lover had merely to stick a pin in that 
portion of the little brown figure. The ceremony was 

2 i 2 The Evolution of an English Town 

elaborate, especially in regard to the disposal of that 
part of the mixture not used to make the figure, for 
in every case the cunning old women worked on the 
imaginations of their dupes. There can be no doubt 
that the morals of the country folk during the 
eighteenth century were at an exceedingly low ebb. 
The practice of compelling girls who had misconducted 
themselves to stand in church for three Sundays was 
only given up at Pickering in the first quarter of the 
nineteenth century. Calvert describes how the miser- 
able girl was first required to go before the parson or 
the squire or anyone of the " quality " to name the 
child's father, and " be otherwise questioned, and if it 
so happened that the squire was one of the hard- 
drinking class it was more than likely that he came 
well on in his cups. If so it would be more like 
than otherwise that he would put the lass and all 
present to shame by the coarse . . . questions he would 
ask the poor wench. I have heard shame cried aloud 
myself by those who then came together. 

"On the Sunday when the poor lass had to do 
her first penance it was in this wise She had to 
walk from her home to the church porch with 
a soiled white sheet cast over her head to her feet, 
and there stand from the ringing of the first bell 
calling to morning prayer, and as the good folk did 
so pass her to ask of them for to pray for her soul 
and forgiveness of her great sin and frailty ; and thither 
did she have to stand until the parson, after the reading 
of the morning prayer, did go to her and bring her 

" A despert reckless Lot " 213 

into the church with the psalm of miserere mei which 
he shall sing or say in English. Then shall he put 
her before all those present, but apart from them, 
when he shall publicly call upon her to confess her 
fault which, be she a single wench she did say aloud, 
'wherefore I ... putting aside my maiden duty to 
Almighty God have yielded unto the vile sin of 
fornication with . . . who is the true father of my 
child, may Almighty God forgive me my sin.' But 
be it a wedded woman then she shall stand bareheaded 
and barelegged, and instead of fornication she shall 
say the word adultery, she being nobbut covered with 
a sheet from the shoulders. At this day (1824) I 
cannot but say I am glad to say that there be a good 
feeling abroad for its abolishment, indeed, there be 
in many places so strong a feeling again this way 
of judging our daughters for a fault of this kind 
that they have bidden the clergy to set their faces 
against any lass ever being so judged, and though our 
clergy be in the main but a despert reckless lot, I 
hear that mostly they are of the same mind as those 
they do hold as their flock. Indeed, at one village 
not far from here a father set his back against his lass 
standing at the church, though she had been so judged 
to do, and the whole of thereabouts siding with the 
lass it was held by the parson and his fox-chasing, 
wine-bibbing crew for to pull in their tongues a piece 
which they most wisely did, or, for a truth, they would 
have found themselves astride of the wrong horse. 
It is now time this shameful practice was for ever 

214 The Evolution of an English Town 

laid on one side for it be not for the good of our 
own daughters that they witness such sights even in 
a place called God's house, but it oft be ought but 
that to our shame and the greater shame of all who 
hold its government of it. I could here give you a 
good list of curious cases of the which for the most 
part I did witness myself of both the hearing and of 
the standing of both many wed and single so browten 
to public shame, but as it would be to no good 
purpose I will hold from the putting pen to paper in 
this matter, letting what hath been wrote end this 
matter, for of a truth it is to a better purpose that 
both pen, ink, paunce box and paper, can be putten." 
Concerning the innumerable customs and superstitions 
associated with the dead and dying, Calvert collected 
a number of interesting facts. " It be held by many," 
he writes, " that a dying body cannot quit this life 
if they do be lying upon a bed which happen to have 
pigeon feathers gotten in by chance. 

" A body cannot get their time over with ease to 
themselves if there be one in the room who will not 
give them up. It be better for all such who cannot 
bring themselves to part with those they love to with- 
draw from the room so that death may enter and 
claim his rights. 

" It be held to be a sure sign that an ailing body 
will die if there be a downcome of soot. 

" It be also a sure sign that death be awaiting for 
his own if an ullot [owlet] do thrice hoot so that the 
ailing one do hear it and remark thereon. 

Death-bed Superstitions 215 

" It be an ill sign if a death glow be seen to settle 
upon the face of an ailing one or if such cry out they 
do see a shroud o* the quilt. 

"If there be a death watch heard, then the ailing 
one need not longer hold on to hope, for it be for that 
time gone from that house and will not enter again 
until a corpse be hugged out. 

"It be an ill sign to the dying if a dark winged 
moth make at the bed light and fall at it, but it be a good 
sign should a light winged one come thrice and go its 
way unharmed. Even if it do fall at it, it doth say 
nothing worse than the ailing one will soon die 
but that the death shall be the freeing of a happy 

" An ailing one shall surely die if a dog come and 
howl thrice under the window. 

" It be a good sign of peace to a parting soul if there 
do come near to the window a white dove. 

" It be the custom as soon as death doth enter the 
chamber for one present to immediate rake out the 
fire, turn the seeing glass to the wall and on the 
instant stop the clock, but this stopping of the clock in 
the death-room be not at all places a common practise. 
After the boddy hath been attended to in all its proper 
officies it be a good sign if the eyes do shut of them- 
selves, if not then but a few years sen it was held to 
be the work of some evil spirits in some cases owing 
to a misspent life. In those days it was the common 
thing for to get or borrow a pair of leaden sigs (charms) 
from some wise dame or good neighbour, the like of 

2 1 6 The Evolution of an English Town 

those made by Betty Strother and others wise in such 
matters. They being magic made did ward off not only 
from about the bed but from the room itself all the 
deamons of every sort and kind and did hold the een 
fast shutten so that neither witch or hellspell could 
get aback of their power and cungel them open again. 

" Many there be who yet do grace their dead with 
a salt platter putten upon the breast of the corpse, and 
all those friends who do view the dead and it be the 
common custom for all so to do, do first touch the 
corpse on the face or hands and then lay their own 
hands upon the platter first having full and free 
forgiven the dead any fault or ill-feeling they had in 
life held as a grudge again the dead. 

" In some spots it is a common thing for the wake 
wail to be sung over the boddy each night it be in the 
house as also for a rushlight to be kept alight from 
sunset to sunrise and for the death watchers for to tend 
the dead throw the night owther in the same room or 
in one so held that those watching could see the corpse, 
and they due at this day deggle the quilt and floor with 
rue water. 

" It be always most carefull seen to that no four- 
footed thing come nigh hand, for it would be a despert 
ill thing if such by any mishap did run just across or 
loup over the corpse. 

" There be always a great arval feast after the funeral 
to which all friends are bidden." 

The remedies of this period were not greatly 
superior to those of the seventeenth century if one may 

A Certain Cure of a Cancer 217 

judge from the gruesome concoction the details of which 
were given to Calvert by William Ness of Kirby 

" For the certain cure of a cancer take a pound of 
brown honey when the bees be sad from a death in ye 
house, which you shall take from the hive just turned 
of midnight at the full of the moon. This you shall 
set by for seven days when on that day you shall add 
to it the following all being ready prepared afore. 
One ounce of powdered crabs clawes well searced, 
seven oyster shells well burnt in a covered stone or 
hard clay pot, using only the white part thereof. One 
dozen snails and shells dried while they do powder 
with gently rubbing and the powder of dried earth 
worms from the churchyard when the moon be on the 
increase but overcast, which you will gather by lanthorn 
which you must be sure not to let go out while you be 
yet within the gate or there virtue be gone from them. 
All these make into a fine powder and well scarce, this 
been ready melt the honey till it simmer then add three 
ounces each of brown wax, rossin, and grease of a fat 
pigg, and when all be come at the boil divide your 
powders to seven heaps and add one at a time. Do 
not shake your paper on which the powder hath been 
put but fold it carefully and burry it at some grave as 
there be among what be left some dust of ye wormes 
which have fed upon ye dead. So boil it till all be 
well mixed and then let cool and if it be too stiff add 
swine grease till it work easy. When you would use 
it warm a little in a silver spoon and annoint the sore 

2 1 8 The Evolution of an English Town 

holding a hot iron over till it be nearly all soaked in, 
then sprinkle but a little finely doubled searced powder 
of viper where there be matter. This hath been tried 
many times and on different folk in these dales and 
hath done wonderous cures when all else failed them. 
" And these words wrate on lambs skin with lambs 
blood and hung above the ill one's head hath wrought 
a most magick wonders of healing and some I do find 
ready to take oath on it. I leave it so." 

But Pickering was not very much behind the rest 
of England when we discover that in the second edition 
of " A collection of above 300 receipts in Cookery, 
Physick and Surgery" published in 1719, and printed 
and sold in London is given the following : 

" A very good snail-water for a consumption. 
Take half a peck of Shell-snails, wipe them and 
bruise them Shells and all in a Mortar ; put to them a 
gallon of New Milk ; as also Balm, Mint, Carduus, un- 
set Hyssop, and Burrage, of each one handful ; Raisons 
of the Sun stoned, Figs, and Dates, of each a quarter of 
a pound ; two large Nutmegs : Slice all these, and put 
them to the Milk, and distil it with a quick fire in a 
cold Still; this will yield near four Wine-quarts of 
Water very good ; you must put two ounces of White 
Sugar-candy into each Bottle, and let the Water drop 
on it ; stir the Herbs sometimes while it distils, and 
keep it cover'd on the Head with wet Cloths. Take 
five spoonfuls at a time, first and last, and at Four in 
the Afternoon." 

It was only about eighty years ago that the old 

Customs at Weddings 219 

custom of racing for the bride's garter 
on wedding days was given up. In 
the early years of last century an 
improvement in public morals showed 
itself in a frequently expressed opinion 
that the custom was immodest, and 
gradually the practice was dropped 
the bride merely handing a ribbon 
to the winner of the race. 

Immediately after the wedding- 
ring had been put on, the youths of 
the company would race from the 
church porch to the bride's house, 
and the first who arrived claimed 
the right of removing the garter 
from her left leg, the bride raising 
her skirts to allow him to do so. 
He would afterwards tie it round his 
own sweetheart's leg as a love charm 
against unfaithfulness. The bride- 
groom never took part in the race, 
but anyone else could enter, runners 
often coining from distant villages 
to take part. 

At the time of the outcry against 
the custom it is interesting to find one, 
William Denis of Pickering, writing 
to a friend and stating that "this 
racing for the bride's garter and the 
taking of the same from the leg 

220 The Evolution of an English Town 

of the bride, is one of the properest public functions 
we have so far as modesty is concerned." 

Elaborately worked garters were worn " by any 
lass who would be happy in her love." The one illus- 
trated here is drawn from a sketch given by Calvert. 
It bears the date 1749 and the two spaces were for the 
initials of the lovers. 

A Pickering man named Tom Reid who was living 
in 1800 but was an old man then, was in his day a 
noted runner and won many races. He must have 
owned several of these garters which are now so difficult 
to find. It is said that one of the vicars of Pickering did 
much to put an end to the belief in the powers of the 
garters as charms, collecting them whenever he had an 
opportunity. He also put his foot down on every form 
of superstition, forbidding the old folk to tell their 

The village maidens considered it a most bind- 
ing vow to remain true to their sweethearts if they 
washed their garters in St Cedd's Well at Lastingham 
on the eve of St Agnes. Other practices performed at 
the same spot are, like the spectre of Sarkless Kitty, 
better forgotten. 

There can be little doubt that the death blow to 
this mass of ignorant superstition came with the 
religious revival brought about by the Methodists. 
Despite the hostile reception they had in many places 
the example of their Christian behaviour made itself 
felt, and as the years went by parents became sufficiently 
ashamed of their old beliefs to give up telling them to 

Cock-fighting in a Crypt 221 

their children. This change took place between about 
1800 and 1840, but the influences that lay behind it 
date from the days of John Wesley. 

The sports common in the early part of last century 
include : 



Duck hunting with dogs and sometimes 
duck and owl diving. 


Cock-throwing at Eastertide. 

Bull baiting and sometimes ass baiting. 

S quirrel-hunting. 


" To make it quite sure to you howe greatly 
cocking was in voge seventy years agone," says Calvert, 
" I have heard my own grandfather tell how he and 
others did match their cocks and fight em for secret 
sake in the crypt of Lastingham Church." 

The entrance to the crypt was not at that time in 
the centre of the nave, and the fact that it could be 
reached from the north side without going into the 
church would make the desecration seem a far less 
scandalous proceeding than it sounds. 

It has also been supposed that Mr Carter, curate-in- 
charge of Lastingham at a time prior to 1806, allowed 
his wife to keep a public-house in the crypt. There 
is only one authentic account l of this parson-publican 

1 Anonymous booklet entitled " Anecdotes and Manners of a few 
Ancient and Modern oddities, etc." Published at York, 1806. 

222 The Evolution of an English Town 

as far as I have been able to discover and although it 
makes no mention of the crypt it states that Mr Carter 
used to take down his violin to play the people a few 
tunes. If this did not indicate the crypt it may have 
meant that he took his violin down from the vicarage 
to the inn, which may have been the " Blacksmith's 
Arms " that adjoins the churchyard on the east side. 
The parlour is certainly a much more cheerful place for 
refreshment than the dark and chilly crypt, and it is 
interesting to find that the benches in the inn are com- 
posed of panelling which I am told was formerly in 
the church. 

As the whole idea of the parson's wife conducting 
a public-house is somewhat preposterous, although we 
have already been told that the clergy at that time 
were on the whole " a despert reckless lot," it is in- 
teresting to read the original account. " The Rev. Mr 
Carter, when curate of Lastingham," it says, "had a 
very large family, with only a small income to support 
them, and therefore often had recourse to many 
innocent alternatives to augment it; and as the best 
of men have their enemies too often more than the 
worst, he was represented to the Archdeacon by an 
invidious neighbour, as a very disorderly character, 
particularly by keeping a public-house, with the con- 
sequences resulting from it. The Archdeacon was a 
very humane, worthy, good man who had imbibed the 
principles, not only of a parson, but of a Divine, and 
therefore treated such calumniating insinuations against 
his subordinate brethren, with that contempt which 

"Sycophantic Tattlers" 223 

would ultimately accrue to the satisfaction and advant- 
age to such as listen to a set of sycophantic tattlers. 
. . . therefore at the ensuing visitation, when the 
business of the day was over, he in a very delicate and 
candid manner, interrogated Mr C. as to his means of 
supporting so numerous a family . . . which was 
answered as related to me by one well acquainted with 
the parties, in nearly the following words : 

" * I have a wife and thirteen children, and with a 
stipend of 20 per annum, increased only by a few 
trifling surplice fees, I will not impose upon your 
understanding by attempting to advance any argument 
to show the impossibility of us all being supported 
from my church preferment : But I am fortunate 
enough to live in a neighbourhood where there are 
many rivulets which abound with fish, and being 
particularly partial to angling, I am frequently so 
successful as to catch more than my family can con- 
sume while good, of which I make presents to the 
neighbouring gentry, all of whom are so generously 
grateful as to requite me with something else of 
seldom less value than two or threefold. This is not 
all : my wife keeps a Public-House, and as my parish 
is so wide that some of my parishioners have to come 
from ten to fifteen miles to church, you will readily 
allow that some refreshment before they return must 
occasionally be necessary, and where can they have it 
more properly than where their journey is half per- 
formed ? Now, sir, from your general knowledge of 
the world, I make no doubt but you are well assured 

224 The Evolution of an English Town 

that the most general topicks, in conversation at Public- 
Houses, are Politics and Religion, with which, God 
knows, ninety-nine out of one hundred of those who 
participate in the general clamour are totally un- 
acquainted ; and that perpetually ringing in the ears of 
a Pastor, who has the welfare and happiness of his 
flock at heart, must be no small mortification. To 
divert their attention from those foibles over their cups, 
1 take down my violin and play them a few tunes, 
which gives me an opportunity of seeing that they get 
no more liquor than necessary for refreshment ; and if 
the young people propose a dance I seldom answer in 
the negative ; nevertheless when I announce it time 
for their return they are ever ready to obey my com- 
mands, and generally with the donation of sixpence, 
they shake hands with my children, and bid God 
bless them. -Thus my parishioners derive a triple 
advantage, being instructed, fed and amused at the 
same time : moreover, this method of spending their 
Sundays being so congenial with their inclinations, that 
they are imperceptibly led along the path of piety and 
morality . . . ' with many other arguments Mr 
Carter supported his case so that " the Archdeacon very 
candidly acknowledged the propriety of Mr C.'s 
arguments in defence of his conduct, and complimented 
him on his discernment in using the most convenient 
vehicle for instruction." 

Concerning a case of bear-baiting we have a most 
detailed account which Calvert heads with " The Baiting 
of a Bear at Pickering, Tuesday, Aug. ijth, 1809, 

U A monster Brown Bruin" 225 

which I did myself witness." Then he begins : " A 
week Wednesday senight there did with drum and pan 
pipes parade publickly the streets of this town two 
mountebanks leading by a chain a monster brown 
bruin which, as well as it being a good dancer and 
handing of its pole, its master did aclaim it to be the 
master of any dog of no odds what be its breed and 
which they would match for a crown to come off 
conqueror if given fair play and a fifteen-foot chain. 
Now it happening that in these parts there be living 
several sporting men some of which be owners of bull 
dogs of good courage and nowther dog nor master ever 
shirking a fight more than one dog was entered for 
to test its skill." 

A day was fixed for the contests which were to 
take place in the castleyard, and soon the news was 
so handed from mouth to mouth that the demand for 
seats in the rough wooden stand, erected for those who 
chose to pay, was so great that another stand was built 
and the first one was enlarged. 

On the appointed day a huge concourse including 
" farmers, butchers, hucksters, badgers, cadgers, horse- 
jobbers, drovers, loafers and scamps and raggels of all 
kinds " assembled in the castleyard. 

There were "not a few young sparks and be- 
spurred and beruffled bucks come thither from as far 
as Hull " who had brought with them certain over- 
dressed women. 

The first dog matched against the bear was owned 
by one Castle Jack " a worthless waistrel." The bear 

226 The Evolution of an English Town 


received the rush of the dog standing on his hind legs 
and gripped him in his forepaws, biting and crushing 
him to death. After this no one seemed inclined to 
let their dogs go to such certain death and the assem- 
blage gradually became disorderly and many quarrels 
and fights took place before the crowd finally dispersed. 

Calvert says, " and so when I did withdraw myself, 
the whole crowd seemed to be owther cursing, fighting, 
or loudly proffering for to fight any one. As I took 
my steps back to my uncle I could not help but 
consider that those of the Methodist holding, who did 
as we went towards the green [at the west end of the 
market-place] beg and pray of us to be mindfull of 
our sinfull pleasures and of the wroth to come and 
who did pray us to then turn from our sinfull course, 
and though we who did pass them did so with scofFs 
and . . . gibes in some cases, yet I could not help 
but in my heart consider that they were fully in the 
right on't." 

There is a remarkable story recorded of the fatal 
result of hunting a black-brushed fox found at 
Sinnington. It was on Thursday, January I3th, 
1803, that "a black-brush'd fox was setten up at the 
high side of Sinnington. Some there were who left 
the hounds the instant they seed the colour of its brush 
for they minded that one who lived in those parts 
over a hundred years agone and who was held to be 
wise in dark things had owned a black-brushed reynard 
as a companion and which being on the moor on a 
time when hounds came that way they gave chace 

A Hunting Story 227 

and presently killed, w ch did so vex the wise dame 
that she was heard to cast a curse upon all those who 
should ever after give chace to one of its offspring 
and it hath being noted that by times when there 
be a black brush and it do be hunted that it is never 
catched and there be always some ill fall upon him 
who does first clap eyes on't and set the hounds on 
its scent. On this very day did some then present 
give chace and followed for ower three good hours 
while baith men, horses and hounds were all dead 
beat and just when they did aim for to claim its brush 
one Holliday fell from his horse and brake his neck, 
and he it was who had first set een on't. They were 
then close upon Chop Yatt ower forty mile by the 
course they had run. It was then brought to mind 
that one Blades a score years afore had been suddenly 
called to account on the same venture. 

a One verse of an old hunting ditty which tells a 
tale of four bold riders who came by their death ower 
a cragg afollowing one of this same breed many years 
agone now, it tells in this wise : 

Draw rein and think, bold hunter halt, 
Sly Reynard let go free, 
To ride ahint yon full black brush 
Means death to you or me. 
No luck can come so get you home 
And there tie up your steed, 
Yon black brush is ye devil wand 
It scents ye grave to feed." 

The Sinnington hounds have long been famous 
in the North Riding, and their history goes back to 

228 The Evolution of an English Town 

the earliest days of fox-hunting in these parts. The 
Bilsdale being the only pack that claims an earlier 
origin. William Marshall, the agricultural writer 
(mentioned a few pages further on), hunted with the 
Sinnington pack for many years, and Jack Parker, a 

It is dated 1750 on one of the silrer bands. 

huntsman of last century, was a very notable character 
whose witty anecdotes are still remembered. The 
silver-mounted horn illustrated here bearing the in- 
scription "Sinnington Hunt 1750" is preserved at 
Pickering. Until about twenty-five years ago the 
pack was "trencher fed," the hounds being scattered 
about in twos and threes at the various farms 
and houses in the neighbourhood. The kennels are 
now at Kirby Moorside. 

An abortive Race 229 

A curious "Dandy Horse" race was held at 
Pickering on June 22, 1813. Calvert describing it in 
his quaint way says: "On this day, Tuesday, June 
22, 1813, Robert Kitching, Hungate, Pickering and 
S. Hutchinson of Helmsley, did bring off the wager 
they had laid of ten guineas apiece for their men to 
race from Pickering to Helmsley astride each of his 
master's dandy horse, which is a machine having two 
wheels in a line afixed with forks to a support beam 
upon which there resteth a saddle so high from the 
ground that the rider hath a grip on the ground, for it 
be by the pressure of the foot upon the ground that 
this new horse is shoved along, there be also a handle 
to hold by with a soft pad, this is for to rest the chest 
against as to gain a greater grip with the feet, the two 
Gladiators started fair away at ten of the clock, there 
been then come together from all parts upwards it 
was held of two thousand people, many on horseback 
arriving for to see this novel race from start to finish." 
However, when the opponents had covered about half 
the distance, one of them overstrained himself and 
gave up and the other admitted that " he was ommaist 
at the far end" so that the crowd assembled at 
Helmsley to see the finish waited in vain for the 

Although Pickering is several miles from the sea 
some of the more important people of the town were 
for many years closely interested in the whaling 
industry. It was about the year 1775, that Mr 
Nicholas Piper and some of his friends made a bold 

230 The Evolution of an English Town 

financial venture in the purchase of the Henrietta which 
became in time one of the most successful Greenland 
whalers sailing from the port of Whitby. Some of the 
ship's logs and also an account book are preserved by 
Mr Loy at Keld Head Hall, and from them I have been 
able to obtain some interesting facts. For a year or two 
the ship yielded no profits, but in 1777 there was a sum 
of ^640 to be divided between the partners in the 
enterprise. Gradually the profits increased until they 
produced an annual total of about ^"2000. 

Some of the entries in the account book are curious. 
These are some of the items in the preliminary 
expenses : 

"Jowsey's Bill for harpoon stocks and seal 

clubs, . . . . 3 2 8 

To ye master to get hands in Shetland, 21 o o 
To ye sailors to drink as customary ye first 

voyage, . . Y . - I I o 

A crimp snipping seamen, . * ; 060 

Then in 1776 comes: 

"By ye crimp's bill Sept. ye 2oth, i . 225 o 6 

Each voyage meant an advantage to Pickering, for 
it supplied the salt pork for the sailors. These are 
some of the entries : 

" 1776. Paid for piggs at Pickering, . . 65 5 o 

1777. Do. do. . V" .. 59 19 6 

Tom Dobson for carriage of do., . . I 1 1 o 
Window broke by firing a signal gun for 

sailing, . . . y; ; 046 

Salt Pork for the Whaler's Men 233 

1778. Cheeses at Pickering, 

Paid for Piggs at Pickering, 

Tom Dobson for carriage of piggs, i o o 

). James Gray's lodging ashore tim 

1779- James Gray's lodging ashore time of ye 

smallpox, . t"l 

Paid for piggs at Pickering, <? 

Paid at Saltergate for boys eating, etc., 

2 10 9 
55 M 5 

o 15 o 

51 2 O 

One imagines that these boys were in charge of 
the pigs. But they must have been pork by that time 
for the next entry is : 

" To Tom Dobson for carriage of pork, . 1 16 o 

and another entry mentions that it was packed in 
barrels at Pickering. 

" 1780. Grundall Saltergate for lads eating, etc., . 086 

Then comes a gap of about eight years, several 
pages having been torn out. 

" 1789. Robt. Dobson for carriage of pork, . 140 

1792. Lads at Saltergate as they came home, . 026 

1793. A man com ^ n g to Pickering to bring news of 

ship be ashore, . . . 080 

This apparently means that a man was sent to 
Pickering to tell the owners that the Henrietta had 

" 1799. Piggs at Pickering, ^ I2 5 9 8 

1801. Do., . . . 181 8 8 

1802. Do., .... 208 A 6 
1815. Old Tom's expenses, turnpikes at Pickering, 006 

In 1785 when the Henrietta made her annual 
voyage to the northern seas she had on board William 

234 The Evolution of an English Town 

Scoresby who in five years' time was to become captain 
of the vessel. He was the son of a small farmer at 
Cropton and was born on the 3rd of May 1760. His 
parents wished him to keep to agricultural pursuits 
and after a very brief education at the village school he 
commenced this arduous form of labour at the age of 
nine. He kept to this work until he was twenty when 
he could no longer resist his longings for a broader 
sphere of work. To obtain this he went to Whitby 
and apprenticed himself to a ship-owner. He acquired 
a thorough knowledge of seamanship with great rapidity 
and in his second year of service at sea detected an 
error in the reckoning which would otherwise have 
caused the loss of the ship. For this, his only reward 
was the ill-will of the mate whose mistake he had ex- 
posed. He therefore joined the Speedwell an ordnance 
ship carrying stores to Gibraltar but falling in with the 
Spanish fleet the Sptcdwcll was captured. Her 
men having been taken to Cadiz they were sent inland 
to San Lucar de Mayor. From that place, through 
being somewhat carelessly guarded, Scoresby and one 
of his companions were successful in making their 
escape. They reached England after various adven- 
tures and Scoresby having endured many hardships at 
sea settled down again to farm work at Cropton for 
two years. Although having only the very smallest 
means he was married at this time to Lady Mary 
Smith (she was born on Lady-day), the eldest daughter 
of Mr John Smith, a landed proprietor in a small way 
and a native of Cropton. 

An Adventure with a Privateer 22 q 

%j j 

Having reached the position of skipper of the 
famous Henrietta, in 1790, when only thirty years 
of age, Scoresby was saved from the financial extremes 
to which he was likely to have been reduced, owing 
to his small income and the increasing expenses of his 
family. Having successfully commanded the Hen- 
rietta for seven seasons and having augmented in this 
way the incomes of the half-dozen Pickeronians inter- 
ested in the success of the ship, Captain Scoresby's 
reputation stood high in the Greenland trade. In 1798 
he accepted the more advantageous offers of a London 
firm to command the Dundee. It was on his third 
voyage in that ship that, having called at Whitby as 
usual to say good-bye to his wife and children, Scoresby 
allowed his third child, William, to go on board the 
ship as she lay in the roads. When the time came for 
him to go ashore he was nowhere to be found, for 
having taken into his head the idea of going the 
voyage with his father the little fellow had hidden 
himself. The shouts for "Master William," how- 
ever, brought him to the top of the companion at 
the last moment, but his father, understanding the 
boy's great desire to stay in the ship, decided to take 

The voyage was notable on account of a very ex- 
citing incident on meeting with a foreign privateer. 
The Dundee was armed with twelve guns and was 
manned by a crew of between fifty and sixty men, so 
that if brought to extremities the ship could have made 
a good defence. Scoresby, however, had every reason 

236 The Evolution of an English Town 

for avoiding a conflict, so keeping his ship in an appar- 
ently defenceless state, with all the ports closed, he sent 
the men to their quarters to prepare the guns for 
immediate action. No sign of excitement or commo- 
tion was allowed to appear on deck so that when the 
privateer came within shouting distance Scoresby 
walking the quarter deck and the helmsmen steering 
were the only living beings visible to the stranger. 
Suddenly, however, the six gun ports on each side of 
the Dundee are raised and a row of untompioned 
cannon are seen pointing towards the enemy's broad- 
side. The stratagem, according to the account given 
by the younger Scoresby, 1 was such a huge surprise for 
the enemy that he suddenly hauled off under full sail 
and not a shot was fired on either side. 

After this voyage young Scoresby went back to 
school again until 1803 when he became an apprentice 
on board the Resolution, a new ship of Whitby, 
commanded and partly owned by his father. For 
several years he made the Greenland voyage in the 
Resolution and was chief officer when, in the year 
1806, his father forced the ship through the pack ice, 
as far north as 8i3O / . This was for long the highest 
point reached by any vessel and the ship's cargo was 
completed in thirty-two days with twenty-four 
whales, two seals, two walruses, two bears and a nar- 
whal. The elder Scoresby who was about six feet in 
height was a man of extraordinary muscular power. 
His many successful voyages reveal his first-class 

1 Scoresby, the Rev. WilHam, D.D.. "My Father," p. 108. 

The Inventor of the Crow's Nest 237 

qualities as a seaman and navigator and his good 
judgment in emergencies seems to have been almost 
instinctive. Although he is described l as an Arctic 
navigator, exploration was only incidental to whale- 
catching, but his inventions of the ice-drill and the 
crow's-nest did much to make Arctic voyages more 

The versatility of his son William was remarkable, 
for he may be described as master mariner, author and 
divine and even then his varied scientific knowledge 
is overlooked. During his latter years he was particu- 
larly interested in magnetism and in 1856 made his last 
voyage in order to carry out a series of systematic obser- 

His life, written by his nephew R. E. Scoresby- 
Jackson, is of great interest and Cropton may well be 
proud that it gave Dr Scoresby to the world. 

The memory of the Henrietta is not likely to 
be forgotten so easily as that of the Scoresbys, for gate- 
posts made from whale jaws are common near the coast 
of north eastern Yorkshire, and one on the road from 
Pickering to Scarborough, between the villages of 
Hutton Buscel and East Ayton, bears the name of the 
famous ship. 

A contemporary of the Scoresbys was John 
Jackson, R.A. He was the son of a tailor of 
Lastingham and was born at that very remote village 
on the 3 ist May 1778. As a boy he showed a pre- 
dilection for portrait-painting in the sketches he made 

1 " Dictionary of National Biography." 

238 The Evolution of an English Town 

of his companions, although his father discouraged his 
efforts in that direction, not wishing to lose his boy's 
services as an apprentice to the tailoring business. When 
he was about nineteen he had the good fortune to be 
introduced to Lord Mulgrave who brought him to the 
notice of the Earl of Carlisle and soon after we find 
him studying the great collection of pictures at Castle 

Jackson's first attempt at a painting in oils was a 
copy of a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds lent to him 
by Sir George Beaumont. Lastingham was unable to 
supply him with proper materials, but he managed to 
obtain some very rough paints and brushes from the 
village house-painter and glazier, and with these crude 
materials made such an admirable copy that Sir George 
or Lord Mulgrave or both together advised him to go 
to London, promising him ^5 a 7 ear during the time 
that he was working as a student. From this time his 
progress was rapid. In 1804 he exhibited at the 
Royal Academy for the first time, in 1815 he was 
elected an associate and in 1817 he received the full 
honours of the Academy. Although he was a Wesley an 
Methodist, Jackson was broad-minded in his religious 
opinions, for he made a copy of Correggio's " Christ 
in the Garden of Gethsemane" (with the figures 
increased to life size) for Lastingham parish church. 
The picture is now on the north side of the apse but 
its original position was above the communion table 
and in order to give the picture sufficient space and 
light the apse of Transitional Norman date was very 

"The Father of Water Colour Painting" 239 

roughly treated. Jackson contributed ^50 towards the 
alterations, but the restoration at a later date has fortun- 
ately wiped out these disfigurements. 

Another boy destined to become a tailor was Francis 
Nicholson who was born at Pickering in 1753. His 
father, who was a weaver, gave young Francis a good 
education in Pickering, and wisely abandoning the 
tailoring idea the boy was sent to Scarborough for 
instruction from an artist. After three years he 
returned to Pickering and occupied himself in painting 
portraits and pictures of horses, dogs and game for 
local patrons. Then followed a period of study in 
London, where Nicholson made great progress and 
eventually began to devote himself to water colours, for 
which in his long life he was justly famous, well 
deserving the name generally given to him as the 
" Father of water colour painting." 

William Marshall, the agricultural expert and writer 
to whom we owe the establishment of the Board of 
Agriculture was baptised at Sinnington on 28th July 
1 745. He was in his own words " born a farmer " 
and used to say that he could trace his blood through 
the veins of agriculturists for upwards of four hundred 
years. After fourteen years in the West Indies, he 
undertook, at the age of twenty-nine, the management 
of a farm near Croydon in Surrey. It was there, in 
1778, that he wrote his first book. He showed the 
manuscript to Dr Johnson who objected to certain 
passages sanctioning work on Sundays in harvest 
time, so Marshall omitted them. His greatest work 

240 The Evolution of an English Town 

was " A General Survey, from personal experience, 
observation and enquiry, of the Rural Economy of 

The country was divided into six agricultural divi- 
sions, the northern one being represented by Yorkshire in 
two volumes. In the first of these, the preface is dated 
from Pickering, December 2ist, 1787, and the second 
chapter is devoted to an exceedingly interesting account 
of the broad valley to which Marshall gives the title 
" The Vale of Pickering." When he died in 1818 he 
was raising a building at Pickering for a College of 
Agriculture on the lines he had laid down in a book 
published in 1799. 

His proposal for the establishment of a " Board of 
Agriculture, or more generally of Rural Affairs " was 
carried out by Parliament in 1793, and so valuable were 
his books considered that in 1 803 most of them were 
translated into French and published in Paris under the 
title of " La Maison rustique anglaise." The inscription 
on Marshall's monument in the north aisle of Pickering 
church which states that " he was indefatigable in 
the study of rural economy " and that " he was an 
excellent mechanic, had a considerable knowledge of 
most branches of science, particularly of philology, 
botany and chemistry " is not an over statement of his 

In the year 1800 the little farm at Gallow Hill 
near Brompton was taken by one Thomas Hutchinson 
whose sister Mary kept house for him. She was 
almost the same age and had been a schoolfellow of 

Wordsworth's Marriage 241 

the poet Wordsworth at Penrith and had kept up her 
friendship with his family since that time, having 
visited them at Racedown and Dove Cottage, while 
the Wordsworths had stayed at the Hutchinson's farm 

Where Wordsworth stayed just at the time of his marriage with Mary Hutchinson. 

at Sockburn-on-Tees. There was nothing sudden or 
romantic therefore in the marriage which took place 
at Brompton in 1802. Wordsworth and his sister 
Dorothy went down from London to the pretty 
Yorkshire village in September, and stayed at the 
little farmhouse, whose parlour windows looked across 
the Vale of Pickering to the steep wolds on the 
southern side. The house, as far as I can discover, 

242 The Evolution of an English Town 

has not been altered in the century which has elapsed, 
and the cosy ingle-nook in the room on the right of 
the entrance remains full of memories of the poet and 
his betrothed his " perfect woman, nobly planned." 
On the fourth of October the wedding took place in 
Brompton Church. The grey old steeple surrounded 
and overhung by masses of yellow and brown foliage 
in the centre of the picturesque, and in many respects, 
ideal little village, must have formed a perfect setting 
for the marriage of one who was afterwards to become 
the Poet Laureate of his country. The register for the 
years 1754-1810 contains the following entry: 

u Banns of Marriage . . . 

William Wordsworth of Grasmere in Westmore- 
land, Gentleman, and Mary Hutchinson of Gallow 
Hill in the Parish of Brompton were married in this 
Church by Licence this fourth Day of October /';/ the 
year one thousand eight Hundred and two by me John 
Ellis officiating min r . 

This marriage was solemnized between us." 


In the presence of THOMAS HUTCHINSON, 

Enrolling the Militia 243 

The same day Wordsworth with his wife and 
sister drove to Thirsk and two days afterwards reached 
Grasmere, where they soon settled down to an un- 
eventful life at Dove Cottage. Dorothy Wordsworth 
could not "describe what she felt," but we are told 
that she accepted her sister-in-law without a trace of 

There is still preserved in Pickering one of the 
parchments on which were enrolled the names of all 
those who were liable for service in the militia. It is 

" Militia Enrollment 1807-8" 

and begins: 

" An enrollment of the names of the several persons 
who have been chosen by ballot to serve in the 
Militia for five years for the west part of the sub- 
division of Pickering Lyth in the North Riding of 
the County of York and also of the several substitutes 
who have been produced and approved to serve for 
the like term and for such further term as the Militia 
shall remain embodied, if within the space of five years 
His Majesty shall order the Militia to be drawn out 
and embodied and are enrolled in the place of such 
principals whose names are set opposite thereto in 
pursuance of an act of the 47th of King George III., 
Cap. 71, entitled an act for the speedily completing 
the Militia of Great Britain and increasing the same 
under certain delimitations and restrictions (i4th Aug. 

244 The Evolution of an English Town 

The thirty-six men were taken as follows : 

8 from Middleton. 

5 Kirby Mispertoru 

1 6 Pickering, 

i Ellerburne. 

i Levisham. 

3 Sinnington. 

i Thornton. 

Jonathan Goodall, a farmer of Middleton, induced 
Geo. Thompson of Pickering, a farmer's servant, 30 
years old, to stand for him, paying him ^42. 

Wm. Newton, a farmer of Middleton, had to pay 
Geo. Allen, a linen draper of Richmond, ^47, 55. 
as substitute. 

The smallest amount paid was ^20, and the largest 
sum was ^47, 5$. 

Substitutes seem to have been hard to find in the 
neighbourhood of Pickering, and those few whose 
names appear had to be heavily paid. George Barn- 
father, a farm servant of Kirby Misperton agreed to 
serve as a substitute on payment of ^42, and a cart- 
wright of Goathland agreed for the same sum, while 
men from Manchester or Leeds were ready to accept 
half that amount. 

The extreme reluctance to serve of a certain Ben 
Wilson, a sweep of Middleton, is shown in a story 
told of him by a very old inhabitant of Pickering 
whose memory is in no way impaired by her years. 
She tells us that this Wilson on hearing of his ill-luck 

Avoiding Active Service 245 

seized a carving-knife and going to the churchyard 
put his right hand on a gate-post and fiercely cut off 
the two fingers required for firing a rifle. He avoided 
active service in this way and often showed his 
mutilated hand to the countryfolk who may or may 
not have admired the deed. 

In 1823 Pickering was kept in touch with Whitby, 
York and Scarborough by coaches that ran three times 
a week. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday a 
coach (Royal Mail) left the "Black Swan" in the 
market place for Whitby at the painfully early hour 
of four o'clock in the morning ; another Royal Mail left 
Pickering for York at half-past three in the afternoon 
on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. The stages were 

Whitby to Saltergate. 

Saltergate to Pickering. 

Pickering to Malton. 

Malton to Spital Beck. 

Spital Beck to York. 

There was also what was called the " Boat Coach " 
that ran between Pickering and Scarborough. 

One of the last drivers of these coaches became a 
guard on the North Eastern Railway, and he still 
lives in Pickering at the time of writing. 

The parish chest in the vestry of Pickering Church 
contains among other papers a number of apprenticeship 
deeds of a hundred to a hundred and fifty years ago, 
in which the master promises that he will educate 
the boy and "bring him up in some honest and 

246 The Evolution of an English Town 

lawful calling and in the fear of God," and in most 
cases to provide him with a suit of clothes at the 
completion of his term, generally at the age of twenty- 
one years. 

The odd papers registering the arrival of new 
inhabitants in the district include one dated 1729, and 
in them we find a churchwarden possessing such a 
distinguished name as Hotham, signing that surname 
without a capital, and in 1809 we find an overseer of 
the poor only able to make his mark against the seal. 

The largest bell in the church tower is dated 1755 
and bears the inscription, " First I call you to God's 
word, and at last unto the Lord." It is said that this 
bell was cracked owing to the great strength of one of 
the ringers, and that the date 1755 is the year of the 
re-casting. The flagon is the only piece of the church 
plate belonging to this period. It was made in 1805 
by Prince of York. 

In the year 1837 the Rev. Joseph Kipling, grand- 
father of Mr Rudyard Kipling, was living at Pickering, 
and on the 6th of July of that year a son, John, was 
born. Mr Joseph Kipling was a Wesleyan minister, 
and his residence at Pickering was only a temporary one. 

Another Wesleyan who was living at this time was 
John Castillo, the author of many quaint poems in the 
Yorkshire dialect, and an original local preacher as well. 
He died in 1 845, and his grave is to be seen in the 
burial-ground of the Wesleyan Chapel. It bears a 
verse from " Awd Isaac," the poem by which he is 
best known 

The Independent Church 247 

" Bud noo his eens geean dim i* deeath, 
Nera mare a pilgrim here on eeath, 
His sowl flits fra' her shell beneeath, 

Te reealms o' day, 
Whoor carpin care an' pain an* deeath 

Are deean away." 

In 1720 a new chapel was built at Pickering for 
Protestant Dissenters, but before that time as early as 
1702 Edward Brignall's house was set apart for 
divine worship by Dissenters. An Independent Church 
was formed in 1715, the people probably meeting in 
private houses for several years. After this, little is 
known until 1788, when the Independent Church was 
again established, and in the following year a chapel 
was built, and it was enlarged in 1814. 

It is an interesting fact that about 1862 the small 
manual organ in the Independent church was played 
by a Mr Clark, who was organist at the Parish church 
in the morning and at the chapel in the afternoon and 
evening. Before this time the Independents had con- 
tented themselves with violins and a bass viol, and for 
a time with a clarionette. 

In 1 80 1, the population of Pickering was 1994, 
and at the last census before the accession of Queen 
Victoria it had increased to 2555. 

During the Georgian period Pickering's only 
external illumination at night was from that precarious 
"parish lantern," the moon. The drainage of the 
town was crude and far too obvious, and in all the 
departments for the supply of daily necessities, the 

248 The Evolution of an English Town 

individualistic system of wells, oil-lamps or candles and 
cesspools continued without interference from any 
municipal power. 

The houses and cottages built at this time are of 
stone among the hills, and of a mixture of brick and 
stone in the vale. Examples of cottages can be seen in 
the village of Great Habton. They are dated 1741 
and 1784, and are much less picturesque than those of 
the seventeenth century, though village architecture had 
not then reached the gaunt ugliness of the early 
Victorian Age. 

The parish registers throughout the district were 
regularly kept, and as a rule contain nothing of interest 
beyond the bare records of births, deaths and marriages. 
The great proportion of villagers, however, who at this 
time signed their names with a mark, shows that the 
art of writing was still a rare thing among the 
peasantry. The church account books of the period 
reveal many curious items such as the frequent repairs 
of the thatch on the vestry at Middleton (thatched 
churches are still to be seen in Norfolk and Suffolk), and 
"^5, 195. 6d. in all for the Violin or Base Musick" 
of the same church. 

Churchwarden architecture of the deal boards and 
whitewash order made hideous many of the village 
churches that required repairs at this time, and if one 
discovers a ramshackle little porch such as that just 
removed at Ellerburne, or a big window with decayed 
wooden mullions cut in a wall, regardless of symmetry, 
one may be quite safe in attributing it to the early 

Weaving 249 

years of the nineteenth century. One of the staple 
industries of Pickering and the adjoining villages at this 
time was weaving, and a great number of the cottages 
had the room on the opposite side of the passage to the 
parlour fitted up with a loom. 

We have now seen many aspects of the daily life 
in and near Pickering during the Georgian period. 
We know something of sports and amusements of the 
people, of their religious beliefs, their work, their 
customs at marriages and deaths, and we also have 
some idea of the dreadful beings that these country 
folk trembled at during the hours of darkness. We 
have discovered more than one remarkable man who 
was born and bred in these primitive surroundings, and 
we have learnt something of one of the trades that 
helped to make Pickering prosperous. 


The Forest and Vale from Early Victorian Times 
to the Present Day 

A.D. 1837 to I 95 

THIS most recent stage in the development of 
Pickering is marked by the extinction of the 
few remaining customs that had continued to 
exist since mediaeval times. One of the most hardy of 
these survivals was the custom of " Riding t' fair," as it 
was generally called. It only died out about twenty 
years ago when the Pickering Local Board purchased 
the tolls from the Duchy of Lancaster, so that it has 
been possible to obtain a photographic record of two of 
the Duchy tenants who used to take part in the cere- 
mony. On market mornings the Steward of the Duchy 
armed with a sword in a richly gilt scabbard would 
repair to the castle on horseback, where he would be 
joined by two freeholders of Duchy land, also mounted ; 
one carrying the antique halbert and the other the 
spetum that are now preserved in a solicitor's office in 
Eastgate. 1 They would then ride down to the top of 
the market-place, where the steward would take out of 

1 Mr Arthur Kiching's office. The sword is kept by Mr Boulton. 



Two of the Duchy tenants carrying the halbert and spetum as they used to appear when the 
maiket proclamation was read. 

A Court of Pye Powder 251 

his pocket a well-worn piece of parchment and read 
the following pro- 
el am at ion. 

"O'jw/ ffyes! 
0' yes ! 

" Our Sover- 
eign Lady the 
Queen and the 
Reverend John 
Richard Hill, 
Lord of this 
Manor, proclaim 
this fair by virtue 
of Her Majesty's 
writ of ad quod 
Damnum, for es- 
tablishing the 
same for buying 
and selling of 
horses, geldings, 
cattle, sheep, 
swine, and all 
sorts of merchan- 
dise brought here 
to be sold, and 
do hereby order 
and direct a court 
of Pye Powder to 

be held at the THB HALBERT (7 feet long) AND SI-ETUM (6 feet 2 inches) 

rf "R nKprt * h *t were carried by the men who accompanied the Steward 
Ul JXUUCI I of the Duc hy when he declared the markets open. 

252 The Evolution of an English Town 

Simpson, where all matters in Difference will be heard 
and determined according to Law and Justice, and 
that no person do presume to buy or sell anything but 
between the rising and setting of the Sun, and they do 
strictly charge and command all persons to be of good 
behaviour during the continuance of this Fair. 

" God save the Queen and the Lord of the Manor. " 
The parchment is now in the possession of the 
present steward of the Duchy property, Mr J. D. 
Whitehead, who was appointed in 1887 and was the 
last to read the proclamation. From the market-place 
the steward with his armed attendants rode to the 
east end of Hungate, and to one or two other points 
in the town, reading the proclamation at each place. 

The Court Leet, or, as its full title appears, the 
Court Leet, View of Frank Pledge, Court Baron, Copy- 
hall and Customary Court of the Castle Manor and 
Honour of Pickering, still meets every second year in 
October or November. Twenty-seven out of thirty-eight 
townships used to be represented by a constable and 
four men. Appointed annually and with much 
solemnity were the following list of officials : 

2 Constables. 

2 Market Searchers. 

2 Yarn Tellers. 

2 Reeves. 

2 Ale Tasters. 

2 Leather Searchers. 

2 Pinders (for stray cattle). 

2 Water Searchers. 

The Pickering Bellman 253 

Of all these only the two pinders are now appointed 
to deal with stray cattle, and the sole use of the court at 
the present time is that of the enforcement of the clear- 
ing out of the drains and ditches on the Duchy property. 
The fines levied average from 6d. to 55., 
but I have seen the record of as large an 
amount as los. imposed on a tenant who 
had allowed a tree to obstruct the flow of 
the water. The importance of keeping 
the level fields of the Vale properly 
drained is obvious, for a permanent ob- 
struction might easily mean the flooding 
of a considerable area. 

The jury dines at the expense of the 
Duchy of Lancaster at each meeting, and 
there is a u View Supper," as it is called, 
a week before the meeting, when the jury, 
having spent the whole day examining 
the ditches and drains between the fields, 

. . -. _ . AN OLD KEY BELONG - 

eat her in the evening at one or the inns. ING T THE CASTLE. 

S^, , .? r (Now kept by Mr 

The steward contributes a quarter or /***, Westmoreland, 

11 T i /- i * /r Bailiff:) 

mutton, and the Lord or the Manor a 
couple of hares for soup. 

The Court Leet still appoints the town's bellman 
in an informal manner ; until lately he was reappointed 
and sworn in every year. At the present time the 
holder of the office is Levi Massheder, who has painted 
over the door of his house the curious inscription, " His 
Honourable Majesty's bellman." 

In July 1857 tne ^ shambles that stood at the 

254 The Evolution of an English Town 


Stefs here 
/"number un, 



top of the market-place, and in which three bullocks 
a week were killed by the six butchers, came down to 
be replaced by the unsightly building that now dis- 
figures the main street of the town. It is a matter 
for surprise that the townsfolk did not utilise a valuable 

opportunity and 
put up in its place 
something that 
would have added 
to the attractive- 
ness of the place 
and at the same 
time have com- 
memorated the 
reign of Queen 
Victoria. The 
building might 
have had an open 
space beneath that 
would have been 
useful in bad 
weather on market 
days. The disappearance of the shambles occurred 
about the same time as the sweeping away of the 
stocks that stood on the north side of them, for these 
were the years of a great municipal awakening in 
Pickering, an awakening that unfortunately could not 
distinguish between an insanitary sewer and the obsolete 
but historic and quite inoffensive stocks ; both had to 
disappear before the indiscriminating wave of progress. 


A sketch plan and elevation drawn from details given 
by old inhabitants. 

An Old Postillion 

2 55 

In October 1846 the railway between Whitby and 
Pickering, that had been built ten years before for a 
horse-drawn coach, was opened for steam traction, and 
although this event is beyond the memories of most of 
the present-day Pickeronians, there is still living in the 
town a man named Will Wardell who is now seventy- 
seven, and as a boy of twelve acted as postillion to the 
horse railway. Postillions were only employed for a 
short time, the horse or horses being soon afterwards 
driven from the coach. 

As a rule they employed one horse from Pickering 
to Raindale, where there was a public-house; then two 
to Fenbogs, and one to Bank Top above Goathland. 
If the wind were fair the coach would run to 
Grosmont by itself, after that one horse took the 
coach to Whitby. If more than one horse were used 
they were yoked tandem ; five were kept at Raindale, 
where Wardell lived. There were two coaches, " The 
Lady Hilda" and the "Premier"; they were painted 
yellow and carried outside, four in front, four behind, and 
several others on the top, while inside there was room 
for six. Wardell helped to make the present railway, 
and has worked for fifty-five years as a platelayer on 
the line. He remembers Will Turnbull of Whitby 
who used to act as guard on the railway coach, and in 
the same capacity on the stage-coach from Pickering 
to York. He made the journey from Whitby to 
York and back daily, the coach running in conjunction 
with the railway coach ; the two drivers were Mathew 
Groves and Joseph Sedman. 

256 The Evolution of an English Town 

Gas, which must have been a perpetual wonder 
to the village folk when they came into Pickering, 
made its appearance in 1847; but even at tne ^ me 
of writing the town is only illuminated from the loth 
of August until the end of April, and even in that 
period the streets are plunged in darkness at 1 1 P.M. 
The drainage of the town was taken in hand to some 
extent about fifty years ago, and the pestilential ditches 
and sewers that existed to within thirty years of the pre- 
sent time have gradually disappeared. Then between 
thirty and forty years ago the great spring in the 
limestone at Keld Head was utilised to give the town 
a water-supply, and thus the wells and pumps were 
superseded. Before the Local Board came into being 
about half a century ago, piles of timber were allowed 
to lie in Eastgate, and generally one may imagine the 
rather untidy quaintness so strongly characteristic of the 
engravings that illustrate country scenes in that period. 

In 1841 or thereabouts there was a great gale that 
carried away the sails of the windmill which stood near 
the railway station, and a year or two afterwards the 
brick tower was demolished. 

The early years of Queen Victoria's reign saw the 
destruction of several picturesque features, and they also 
witnessed the decease of some more of the old customs 
that were still fighting for their existence. Some of 
the old folks can just remember hearing their fathers 
tell of " the standing in church," described in the last 
chapter, and they quite well remember when the 
children used to receive prizes for saying poetry in 

Stang Riding 257 

front of the Communion-table in the parish church. 
Stang-riding continued up to twenty-five years ago 
in spite of the opposition of the police. Two figures 
to represent the individuals who had earned popular 
disfavour were placed in a cart and taken round the 
town for three successive nights, accompanied by a 
noisy crowd, who sang 

" Arang atang atang 
Here do we ride the stang, 
Not for my cause nor your cause 
Do we ride the stang, 
But for the sake of old . . ." 

On the third night the effigies were burnt. 

There was formerly a gallery at the west end of 
the church where the choir and organ were situated so 
that during the musical portions of the services the 
congregation turned towards the west to face the 
choir. About fifty years ago the leader who started 
the tune with a trumpet was James Ruddock "a 
bedstuffer." An old pitch-pipe used for starting the 
tunes was recently discovered by Mr J. Grant James, 
vicar of Marske-in-Cleveland. 

Hungate Bridge, an iron structure, having made 
its appearance in 1864, is, as may be imagined, no 
ornament to the town. 

In November 1851 the weathercock on the spire 
of the church was blown off, and in the following 
year it was replaced. 

The restoration in 1878-79 included the very 
difficult work of renewing the Norman foundations of 

258 The Evolution of an English Town 

the tower, which were quite unable to continue to 
support the crushing weight of the spire. Sir Gilbert 
Scott, who inspected the tower and was pointed out 
several of the results of the unequal strains on the 
fabric, solemnly warned those concerned not to be 

stingy with cement if they 
wished to save the tower. 
The advice was taken, and 
after the removal of the 
crushed and rotten stones 
and many other repairs 
the tower and spire were 
left in a state of greatly 
increased security. The 
framework supporting the 


bells dated from about 
1450, and as there were 

no louvres to the windows for a long time, rain and 
snow must have been blown in upon the woodwork, for 
it was found to be entirely rotten, and it was astonish- 
ing that the timbers had not given way under the great 
weight of the bells. 

It is an old custom that is still preserved to ring the 
biggest, or the "pancake" bell, as it is often called, 
at eleven in the morning on Shrove Tuesday. At 
that welcome sound the children are allowed to leave 
school for the day, the shops are closed, and a general 
holiday is observed in the town. The work bell is 
rung every morning from 5.55 to 6.0, and from 6.0 to 
6.5 every evening from March to November, and the 

Christmas Customs 259 

bells are rung backwards to call out the fire brigade. 
The curious little fire-engine upon which the town 
used to rely is still preserved in a shed in Willowgate. 
It is one of those primitive little contrivances standing 
on very small solid wheels, suggesting those of a child's 
toy horse. 

Until the restoration of the church the pulpit was 
of the two-decker type, the clerk's desk being under 
the pulpit, with the reading-desk at the side. The 
inlaid sounding-board which was taken out of the church 
at the restoration is now preserved in the vicarage. 
It was in these days, namely about thirty years ago, 
that the sexton and his deputy used to visit the 
public-houses during church time in order to fetch 
out those who were wasting the precious hours. 
At Christmas time the waits still enliven the early 
hours with their welcomes to each individual member 
of every family. The two men, whose names are 
Beavers and Stockdale, carry a concertina and greet 
the household after this well-known fashion, " Drawing 

to o'clock and a fine frosty morning. Good 

morrow morning, Mr . Good morrow morning, 

Mrs ," and so through the entire family. This 

process commences a week before Christmas and is 
continued until a week afterwards. In the villages the 
custom of "lucky birds" still survives. The boy who 
first reaches any house on Christmas morning is called 
a " lucky bird," and unless great misfortune is courted 
some small coin must be given to that boy. On New 
Year's Day the same process applies to girls, but they 

260 The Evolution of an English Town 

have no particular designation. Badger-baiting in the 
castle is still remembered, but at the present time lawn- 
tennis is the only game that is played there. This brings 
one to the everyday facts of Pickering life, which may 
sound almost too prosaic for any record, but taken in 
contrast with the conditions of life that have gone 
before they are the most recent page of that history 
which continues to be made day by day in the town. 

The Pickeronian can no longer call himself remote 
in the sense of communication with the rest of the 
world, for the North-Eastern Railway takes him to 
York in little more than an hour, and from that great 
station he can choose his route to London and other 
centres by the Great Northern, the Great Central, or 
by the Midland Railway, and he can return from King's 
Cross to Pickering in about five hours. But this ease of 
communication seems to have made less impression upon 
the manners and customs of the town and neighbourhood 
than might have been imagined. It may perhaps show 
itself in the more rapid importation from London of a 
popular street tune or in the fashions of dress among 
the women-kind, but there are still great differences in 
the ways of living of the country folk and in the 
relations of squire and peasant. 

Superstitions still linger among the moorland folk, 
and the custom of placing a plate of salt upon the breast 
of one who is dying is still continued here and there in 
a covert fashion. Clocks are still stopped, fires raked 
out, and looking-glasses turned to the wall at the 
moment of death, but such acts of deference to the 

"The Pickering Mercury" 261 

world of fancy are naturally only seen by those who 
have intimate experience of the cottage life of these 
parts, and the casual visitor sees no traces of them. 

The town at one time had a newspaper of its own. 
It was known as the Pickering Mercury, and was 
started in the summer of 1857; but ^ perhaps found 
Scarborough competition too much for it, for now it is 
almost forgotten, and an evening paper produced in the 
big watering-place is shouted round the streets of the 
town every night. 

The changes that the present century may witness 
will possibly work greater transformations than any 
that have gone before, and not many years hence this 
book will no doubt be described as belonging to the 
rough and ready, almost primitive times of the early 
part of the twentieth century. The historian of a 
hundred years hence will sigh for the complete picture 
of daily life at Pickering at the present day, which we 
could so easily give, while he at that very moment may 
be failing to record the scenes of his own time that are 
to him so wofully commonplace. 


Concerning the Villages and Scenery of the Forest 
and Vale of Pickering 

" Wide horizons beckoning, far beyond the hill, 
Little lazy villages, sleeping in the vale, 
Greatness overhead 
The flock's contented tread 
An' trample o* the morning wind adown the open trail." 


THE scenery of this part of Yorkshire is composed 
of two strikingly opposite types, that of 
perfectly wild, uncultivated moorlands broken 
here and there by wooded dales, and the rich level 
pasture lands that occupy the once marshy district of 
the Vale. The villages, some phases of whose history 
we have traced, are with a few exceptions scattered 
along the northern margin of the Vale. Lastingham, 
Rosedale Abbey, Levisham, Lockton, and Newton are 
villages of the moor. Edstone, Habton, Normanby, 
Kirby Misperton, and Great Barugh are villages of the 
Vale ; but all the rest occupy an intermediate position 
on the slopes of the hills. In general appearance, many 
of the hamlets are rather similar, the grey stone walls 
and red tiles offering less opportunity for individual 


J^HMlB '*" / ;***";*'* 
'**? 4 "s^.v. "**'",, /{yr-; 1 ?" /*/?*'-; 

> *j&^frf ' 3K^^ 

The stocks are quite modern, replacing the old ones which were thrown away whe, 
ones were made. 

Beautiful Villages 265 

taste than the building materials of the southern 
counties. Despite this difficulty, however, each village 
has a distinct character of its own, and in the cases of 
Thornton-le-Dale and Brompton, the natural surround- 
ings of hill, sparkling stream, and tall masses of trees 
make those two villages unique. A remarkable effect 
can sometimes be seen by those who are abroad in the 
early morning from the hills overlooking the wide 
valley; one is at times able to see across the upper 
surface of a perfectly level mist through which the 
isolated hills rising from the low ground appear as 
islets in a lake, and it requires no effort of the imagina- 
tion to conjure up the aspect of the valley when the 
waters of the Derwent were held up by ice in the 
remote centuries of the Ice Age. Sometimes in the 
evening, too, a pleasing impression may be obtained 
when the church bells of the villages are ringing for 
evening service. At the top of Wrelton Cliff, the 
sound of several peals of bells in the neighbouring 
villages floats upwards across the broad pastures, and it 
seems almost as though the whole plain beneath one's 
feet were joining in the evening song. Along the deep 
ravine of Newton Dale, in all weathers, some of the 
most varied and richly coloured pictures may be seen. 
If one climbs the rough paths that lead up from the 
woods and meadows by the railway, the most remark- 
able aspects of the precipitous sides are obtained. In 
a book published in 1836,* at the time of the opening 

1 Henry Belcher, ' The Scenery of the Whitby and Pickering Railway," 
facing p. 5 1 . 

266 The Evolution of an English Town 

of the railway between Whitby and Pickering, a 
series of very delicate steel engravings of the wild 
scenery of Newton Dale were given. One of them 
shows the gorge under the deep gloom of a storm but 
relieved with the contrast of a rainbow springing from 
one side of the rocky walls. This effect may perhaps 
seem highly exaggerated, but on one occasion when I 
was exploring part of the Dale, between Levisham 
and Fen Bogs, I was astonished to see a brilliant 
rainbow backed by dense masses of indigo clouds and 
occupying precisely the position of the one shown in 
the old engraving. In such weather as this, when 
sudden rays of sunlight fall upon the steep slopes of 
bracken and heather and on the precipitous rocks 
above, the blazing colours seem almost unreal and the 
scenery suggests Scotland more than any other part of 
England. From the edges of the canon, purple heather 
and ling stretch away on either side to the most distant 
horizons, and one can walk for miles in almost any 
direction without encountering a human being and 
rarely a house of any description. The few cottages 
that now stand in lonely isolation in different parts of 
the moors have only made their appearance since the 
Enclosures Act, so that before that time these moors 
must have been one of the most extensive stretches of 
uninhabited country in England. From the Salters- 
gate Inn, some of the most remarkable views that the 
moorlands present are all collected together in a com- 
paratively small space. One looks towards the west 
across a remarkably deep ravine with precipitous sides 

Moorland Scenery 267 

that leads out of Newton Dale towards the old coach 
road upon which the lonely hostelry stands. At the 
foot of the steep rocks, a stream trickles into a basin 
and then falls downwards in a small cascade, finding 
its way into the Pickering Beck that flows along the 
bottom of Newton Dale. From the inn also, the great 
ravine we have been describing appears as an enormous 
trench cut through the heathery plateau, and we arc 
led to wonder how it was that no legends as to its 
origin have survived until the present time. The 
Roman road, which is supposed to have been built by 
Wade and his wife when they were engaged on the 
construction of Mulgrave and Pickering Castles, seems 
uninspiring beside the majestic proportions of Newton 
Dale. To the south of the Saltersgate Inn lies the 
remarkable circular hollow among the hills known as 
the Hole of Horcum, and the bold bluff known as 
Saltersgate Brow rises like an enormous rampart from 
the smooth brown or purple heather. To the west 
lies the peculiarly isolated hill known as Blakey 
Topping, and, a little to the south, are the Bride 
Stones, those imposing masses of natural rock that 
project themselves above the moor. The Saltersgate 
Inn has lost the importance it once possessed as the 
stopping-place for the coaches between Whitby and 
Pickering, but is still the only place of refreshment for 
many miles across the moors, and its very isolation still 
gives it an importance for those who seek sport or 
exercise on these breezy wastes. 

Levisham and Lockton, the twin villages that 

268 The Evolution of an English Town 

stand upon the very edge of the heather, are separated 
by a tremendous valley, and although from above they 
may seem so close as to be almost continuous, in reality 
they are as remote from one another as though they 
were separated by five or six miles. To reach Levisham 
from Lockton means a break-neck descent of a very 

The ash tree that grows on the church tower can be seen in the drawing. 

dangerous character and a climb up from the mill and 
lonely church at the bottom of the valley that makes 
one marvel how the village ever came to be perched in 
a position of such inaccessibility. The older inhabitants 
of Levisham tell you that in their young days the 
village was more populous, and their statements are 
supported by the pathetic evidence of more than one 
cottage lying in ruins with the interior occupied by a 
jungle of nettles. The Vicarage is the only new 

A Primitive Village 269 

building that breaks the mellowed grey tones of the 
wide, grass-bordered street. 

Lockton is a larger and better preserved village. 
The little church with its grey tower is noticeable on 
account of the vigorous ash-tree that grows from the 
parapet. It has been there for many years, and I am 
told that the roots have penetrated for a very great 
distance among the stones, and may even be drawing 
their sustenance from the ground. In order to prevent 
the undue growth of the tree, it is periodically cut 
down to one branch, but even with this wholesale 
lopping the tree has forced many of the stones from 
their original positions. 

The interior of the church is a melancholy spectacle 
of churchwarden methods, but probably Lockton will 
before many years receive that careful restoration that 
has taken place at Ellerburne and Sinnington. The 
font is one of those unadorned, circular basins which 
generally date from the thirteenth century. One of 
the village inns is known as " The Durham Ox," and 
bears a sign adorned with a huge beast whose pensive 
but intelligent eye looks down upon all passers-by. 
The village stocks that used to stand outside the 
churchyard wall on the east side, near the present 
schoolhouse, are remembered by the older inhabitants. 
They were taken away about forty years ago. The 
few thatched cottages that remain in the village are 
unfortunately being allowed to fall into disrepair, but 
this is the case in most of the villages. 

Newton, or, as its full name should be given, 

270 The Evolution of an English Town 

Newton-upon-RawcliflF, stands on the verge of New- 
ton Dale. Its small modern church has no interest 
for the antiquary, but the broad roadway between the 
houses and the whitewashed cottages thrown up against 
the strip of grass on either side is picturesque enough. 

Northwards from Newton lies the minute moorland 
hamlet of Stape, its houses and its inn, "The Hare 
and Hounds," being perched indiscriminately on the 
heather. Some miles beyond lies Goathland, that 
formerly belonged to the parish of Pickering. The 
present church was built in 1895, but it is here that 
the fine pre-Reformation chalice that originally be- 
longed to Pickering is still in use. The village has a 
large green overlooked here and there by pretty 
cottages, and the proximity of the richly coloured 
moorland scenery that lies spread out in every direction 
makes the place particularly fascinating. The rail- 
way in the valley has brought a few new houses to 
the village, but there seems little chance of any great 
accretions of this nature, although the existence of the 
railway station is a permanent menace to the rural 
character of the place. 

Middleton, the hamlet immediately to the west 
of Pickering, lies along the main road to Helmsley. 
Its interesting old church is surrounded by trees, and 
might almost be passed unnoticed. The post-office 
is in one of the oldest cottages. Its massive oak forks 
must have endured for many centuries, and the frame- 
work of the doorway leading into the garden behind 
must be of almost equal antiquity. 

The Maypole at Sinnington 271 

Between the years 1 764 and 1 766, John Wesley, 
on his northern circuit, visited this unassuming little 
village and preached in the pulpit of the parish church. 
A circular sun-dial bearing the motto " We stay not," 
and the date 1782, appears above the porch, and the 
church is entered by a fine old door of the Perpendicular 
period. A paddock on the west side of the graveyard 
is known as the nun's field, but I have no knowledge 
of any monastic institution having existed at Middleton. 
Aislaby, the next village to the west, is so close that 
one seems hardly to have left Middleton before one 
reaches the first cottage of the next hamlet. There 
is no church here, and the only conspicuous object as 
one passes westwards is the Hall, a large stone house 
standing close to the road on the south side. Wrelton 
is only half a mile from Aislaby. It stands at the 
cross-roads where the turning to Lastingham and Rose- 
dale Abbey leaves the Helmsley Road. The cottages 
are not particularly ancient, and there are no striking 
features to impress themselves on the memory of the 
passer-by. At Sinnington, however, we reach a 
village of marked individuality. The broad green 
is ornamented with a bridge that spans the wide stony 
course of the river Seven; but more noticeable than 
this is the very tall maypole that stands on the green 
and appears in the distance as a tapering mast that 
has been sloped out of perpendicu'ar by the most 
prevailing winds. It was around an earlier maypole 
that stood in the place of the existing one that the 
scene between the "Broad Brims" and the merry- 

272 The Evolution of an English Town 

making villagers that has already been mentioned took 
place nearly two centuries ago. The present 
maypole was erected on May 29th 1882, replacing 
one which had come into existence on the same 
day twenty years before. The recently restored church 
of Sinnington stands slightly above the green, 
backed by the trees on the rising ground to the north 
of the village. The new roof of red tiles would 
almost lead one to imagine that the building was a 
modern one, and one would scarcely imagine that it 
dates chiefly from the twelfth century. A custom 
which is still remembered by some of the older 
villagers was the roasting of a sheep by the small 
bridge on the green on November 23rd in Martinmas 
week. The children used to go round a few days 
before, collecting money for the purchase of the sheep. 
Although these quaint customs are no longer continued 
at Sinnington the green has retained its picturesque- 
ness, and towards evening, when the western sky is 
reflected in the rippling waters of the Seven, the scene 
is a particularly pleasing one. 

Between Sinnington and Kirby Moorside about 
three miles to the west is the site of the priory of Keld- 
holm, but there are no walls standing at the present 
time. Kirby Moorside is one of the largest villages in 
the neighbourhood of Pickering. It has been thought 
that it may possibly have been in Goldsmith's mind 
when he described the series of catastrophes that befell 
the unfortunate household of the Vicar of Wakefield; but 
although I have carefully read the story with a view to 

Kirby Moorside 273 

discovering any descriptions that may suggest the village 
of Kirby Moorside, I can find very little in support 
of the idea. Before the construction of the railway 
connecting Pickering and Helmsley, this part of York- 
shire was seldom visited by any one but those having 
business in the immediate neighbourhood ; and even now 
as one walks along the wide main street one cannot 
help feeling that the village is still far removed from 
the influences of modern civilisation. The old shambles 
still stand in the shadow of the Tolbooth, the somewhat 
gaunt but not altogether unpleasing building that 
occupies a central position in the village. Adjoining 
the shambles is the broken stump of the market-cross 
raised upon its old steps, and close by also is the 
entrance to the churchyard. The church occupies a 
picturesque position, and contains, besides the Elizabethan 
brass to Lady Brooke, & par vise chamber over the old 
porch. This little room is approached by a flight of 
stone steps from the interior of the church and possesses 
a fireplace. It has been supposed that the chamber 
would have been used by the monk who served from 
Newburgh Priory when he had occasion to stay the 
night. The brick windmill, built about a hundred 
years ago, that stands on the west side of the village, is 
no longer in use, and has even been robbed of its sails. 
At the highest part of the village street there are some 
extremely old thatched cottages which give a very good 
idea of what must have been the appearance of the 
whole place a century ago. The " King's Head " Inn and 
the house adjoining it, in which the notorious Duke of 

274 The Evolution of an English Town 

Buckingham died, are two of the oldest buildings of 
any size that now remain. An inn, a little lower down 
the street has a picturesque porch supported by carved 
posts, bearing the name " William Wood," and the date 
1632. Kirby Moorside has preserved, in common 
with two or three other villages in the neighbourhood, 
its Christmastide mummers and waits. The mummers, 
who go their rounds in daytime, are men dressed 
as women. They carry a small doll in a box orna- 
mented with pieces of evergreen and chant doggerel 

The beautiful scenery of Farndale and Kirkdale 
comes as a surprise to those who visit Kirby Moorside 
for the first time, for the approach by road in all direc- 
tions, except from the north, does not lead one to suspect 
the presence of such impressive landscapes, and from 
some points Farndale has quite a mountainous aspect. 
The moors no longer reach the confines of Kirby 
Moorside, as its name would suggest, for cultivation has 
pushed back the waste lands for two or three miles to 
the north; but from that point northwards all the way 
to Guisborough the wild brown moorland is broken 
only in a few places by the fitful cultivation of the 
dales. The church of Kirkdale, and what quarrying 
has left of the famous cave, stand just at the point 
where the Hodge Beck leaves its confined course and 
flows out into the flat levels of the Vale of Pickering. 
It is only, however, after very heavy rains that the stony 
course of the stream at this point shows any sign of 
water, for in ordinary weather the stream finds its way 

f " * ~+ "= <>r ** 

v~V- -nr-NrH 

Au underground cell beneath some cottages which was formerly the village prison. 

An Underground River 277 

through underground fissures in the limestone and 
does not appear above the ground for a considerable 
distance. The little church of Kirkdale, remarkable for 
its Saxon sun-dial and other pre-Norman remains, is 
surrounded by masses of foliage, and the walk up the 
dale from this point to the romantically situated 
Cauldron Mill is one of remarkable beauty. As one 
follows the course of the beck higher and higher 
towards it source north of Bransdale, the densely 
wooded sides become bare, and wide expanses and the 
invigorating moorland air are exchanged for the rich 
land scents and the limited views. 

The village of Lastingham is surrounded by 
beautiful hills and is almost touched by the moors that 
lie immediately to the north. The Church has already 
been described, and we have heard something of the 
strange story of the ingenious methods for increasing 
his income of a former curate-in-charge. Cropton 
occupies a position somewhat similar to that of Newton, 
being on high ground with commanding views in all 
directions. The little church is modern, but it has the 
stump of an ancient cross in the graveyard, and com- 
mands a magnificent view towards the west and north. 
It is in connection with this cross that a curious old 
rhyme is mentioned in an old guide. 

" On Cropton Cross there is a cup, 
And in that cup there is a sup ; 
Take that cup and drink that sup, 
And set that cup on Cropton Cross top." 

There is a cottage on the east side of the street 

278 The Evolution of an English Town 

bearing the date 1695, and the motto " Memento Mori," 
with the initials N. C., but more interesting than this 
is one on the same side but at the southern end of the 
village, and standing back more than the rest. This 
was used as a madhouse at a time well remembered 
by some of the villagers. People from Pickering and 
the surrounding district were sent here for treatment, 
and I am told that the proprietor possessed a pre- 
scription for a very remarkable medicine which was 
supposed to have a most beneficial effect upon his 
partially demented patients. I am also told that this 
prescription was given to one, Goodwill of Lastingham, 
who still possesses it. Cropton is only a short distance 
from the Roman camps that lie all surrounded and 
overgrown with dense plantations, so that it is im- 
possible for a stranger to discover their position unless 
he be lucky enough to find some one close at hand to 
carefully describe the right track. 

West of Pickering lies that long string of villages, 
generally less than two miles apart, that extends nearly 
all the way to Scarborough. The first point of interest 
as one goes towards Thorn ton-le-Dale from Pickering 
is the grass-grown site of Roxby Castle, the birthplace 
of Sir Hugh Cholmley, and the scene, as we know, of 
those conflicts between the retainers of Sir Roger 
Hastings and Sir Richard Cholmley. The position 
must have been a most perfect one for this ancient 
manor house, for standing a little higher than the level 
ings and carrs of the marshy land, it was protected 
from the cold northern winds by the higher ground 

An Old Village Prison 279 

above. From the top of the steep hill west of the 
village, Thornton-le-Dale has an almost idyllic aspect, 
its timeworn roofs of purple thatch and mellowed tiles 
nestling among the masses of tall trees that grow with 
much luxuriance in this sheltered spot at the foot of 
the hills. The village is musical with the pleasant 
sound of the waters of the beck that flows from Dalby 
Warren, and ripples along the margins of the roadways, 
necessitating a special footbridge for many of the 
cottages. The ancient stocks that stood by the cross- 
roads have unfortunately disappeared, and in their place 
may be seen the pathetic sight of a new pair that are 
not even a close copy of the old ones. The old stone 
cross that stands by the stocks has not been replaced 
by a modern one, and adds greatly to the interest of the 
central portion of the village. On the road that leads 
towards Ellerburne there stand some old cottages 
generally known as the Poorhouse. They are built on 
sloping ground, and on the lower side there is a small 
round-topped tunnel leading into a little cell dug out 
of the ground beneath the cottages. This little village 
prison was known as the " Black Hole," and was in 
frequent use about fifty years ago. An old resident 
in the village named Birdsall, who is now in the Alms- 
houses, remembers that the last woman who was placed 
in the Black Hole was released by four men who 
forcibly broke their way in. The quaint little church 
of Ellerburne and the few antique cottages that make up 
the hamlet lie about a mile from Thornton up the steep 
valley to the north. The hills on either side are 

280 The Evolution of an English Town 

crowned with plantations, but farther up the dale 
appear the bare slopes of the edge of the moors. 
Allerston lies at right angles to the main road. It is 
full of quaint stone cottages, and is ornamented by the 
square tower of the church and the cheerful brook 
that flows along the road side. The church at 
Ebberston stands aloof from the village at the edge of 
the small park belonging to the Hall. The situation 
is a very pleasant one, and the building attracts one's 
attention on account of the wide blocked-up arch that 
is conspicuous in the south wall west of the porch. 

The, next village westwards is Snainton, a more 
compact and town-like hamlet than most of the others 
in the district. The church having been rebuilt in 
about 1835, *h e p' ace is robbed of one of its chief 

Brompton has already been mentioned in con- 
nection with Wordsworth's wedding. The view over 
the bright green pastures of the Vale when seen from 
the church porch is of conspicuous beauty, and the 
ponds that are numerous in the village help to make 
picturesque views from many points. The Hall is a 
large building possessing a ponderous bulk but little 
charm, and it is only by the kindly aid of the 
plentiful trees and an extensive growth of ivy that 
the squire's house does not destroy the rural sweet- 
ness of the village. 

Wykeham has a new church with a massive spire, 
but the tower of the old building has fortunately been 
allowed to remain, and now answers the purpose of 


The lower part of the tower is of Norman work. The head of the churchyard cross is modern. 

The Bishop and the Sweep 283 

a lich-gate. Only a few walls of the abbey now 
remain in close proximity to Lord Downe's recently 
enlarged house. 

The church of Hutton Buscel is externally one 
of the most picturesque in the district, and the pretty 
churchyard on steeply falling ground is a charming 
feature of the village. The old Hall of the Osbalde- 
stons is only represented by the massive gates that 
give access to the schools built on the site of the 
house that was burnt down about a century ago. 

A curious story is told of Bishop Osbaldeston, 
whose monument is to be seen in the church. 
During his stay at Hutton Buscel he often amused 
himself with riding about the neighbourhood and 
conversing with any one he happened to meet upon 
the road. " One morning he saw a chimney-sweeper's 
boy laid on the roadside, whom he accosted as 
follows: 'Well, my lad, where hast thou been this 
morning ? ' * Sweeping your chimnies,' replied the 
lad. * And how much hast thou earned then ? ' said 
his lordship. * Fifteen shillings, my lord.' After 
his lordship had observed that he thought it a very 
good business, the lad says, ' Yes, my lord, you see 
that ive black coats get good livings for very little 

The smaller villages of the Vale are without any 
particular interest in themselves, apart from the wide 
and expansive landscapes that stretch away in all 
directions to the enclosing hills that in distant times 
formed the boundaries of the lake. 

284 The Evolution of an English Town 

Great Habton has a small chapel of ease of very 
recent erection. 

Ryton is chiefly composed of two or three farms 
and a dilapidated little red brick building that scarcely 
deserves the name of church. The lane to this hamlet 
from Great Habton is remarkable for the series of 
about a dozen gates across the roadway. 

Brawby and Butterwick have no particular features 
that impress themselves on the mind, and Great 
Barugh, though more picturesque than either of these, 
is chiefly interesting on account of its past. 

Normanby lies on the dead level of the plain, and 
is watered by the Seven, that flows between high 
embankments throughout most of its course after 
leaving the high ground at Sinnington. 

Salton lies a little to the west and is interesting 
on account of its beautiful little Norman church. The 
cottages are situated on a patch of green, and the 
whole place has a cheerful and tidy appearance. 

At Kirby Misperton there is a very green pond 
by the church, and the remains of the stocks may 
still be seen by the pretty rose-covered cottage that 
contains the post-office. Many of the cottages were 
rebuilt between 1857 anc ^ J ^77 tne dates being 
conspicuous on their big gables. 


Concerning the Zoology of the Forest and Vale 

THE great expanses of wild moorland, the deep, 
heavily wooded valleys, and the rich and well- 
watered level country included in the scope of 
this book would lead one to expect much of the zoology 
of the Pickering district, and one is not disappointed. 
That the wild life is ample and interesting will be seen 
from the following notes on the rarer varieties which 
Mr Oxley Grabham of the York Museum has kindly 
put together. 

ON THE MOORS the Curlew, the Golden Plover, and 
the Merlin nest regularly together with other more 
common species. 

IN THE WOODS the Woodcock, Pied Flycatcher, and 
Wood Wren, together with the Green and the Great 
Spotted Woodpeckers, breed by no means uncommonly. 


and the Redshank find congenial breeding quarters. 

Many rarities have been obtained in the district such 
as the Kite, the Great Plover, the Smew, and the 
Golden Eagle, and numerous varieties of wildfowl 
during the winter months. I have seen large flocks of 
Crossbills and Brambllngs hunting for food in the 

286 The Evolution of an English Town 

severe weather, and occasionally a small flock of 
Waxwings appears in the district. 

There is a well-protected Heronry in the neigh- 
bourhood, and these fine handsome birds may fre- 
quently be seen in the vicinity of the Costa, a 
stream famous for the size and quality of its Trout 
and Grayling. 

From a sporting point of view there are few 
better districts in the north of Yorkshire. Grouse are 
abundant on the moors, and there is some most ex- 
cellent Partridge ground at hand, whilst certain of the 
coverts are famous for Woodcock during the winter 

Foxes are numerous, and three packs of regular 
hounds, Lord Middleton's, Sir Everard Cayley's, and 
the Sinnington, hunt the country, whilst the old estab- 
lished trencher-fed Goathland pack accounts for a 
goodly number every season. 

Otters and Badgers are far more plentiful than 
most people have any idea of; but, unfortunately, they 
are generally killed whenever a chance of doing so 
presents itself, the trap and the gun being regularly 
employed against them. 

The usual smaller mammals are present in goodly 
numbers, and present no special or peculiar features, 
with the exception of the common Rat^ which has been 
of late a perfect pest in some parts of the country ; the 
hedge bottoms have been riddled with rat holes. Gates 
and posts and rails have been gnawed to bits, and in 
one instance a litter of young pigs were worried during 

Reptiles 287 

the night. On one farm alone, during the year 1904, 
over two thousand rats were killed. 

OF REPTILES, the common Adder or Viper, locally 
known as the Hag- Worm, is numerous in the moor- 
land districts. It seldom if ever attacks human beings, 
but occasionally dogs and sheep get bitten with fatal 
results. The Slow or Blind Worm is also to be found 
here, as are the other usual forms of reptiles. 


The famous breed of horses known as the Cleve- 
land Bays come from this district of Yorkshire. They 
are bred all over the district between Pickering, 
Helmsley, Scarborough, and Middlesborough, and 
although efforts have been made to raise them in other 
parts of England and abroad, it has been found that 
they lose the hardness of bone which is such a 
characteristic feature of the Cleveland bred animals. 
The Cleveland bay coach horse is descended from the 
famous Darly Arabian, and preserves in a wonderful 
manner the thoroughbred outline. 


Akerman, J. Yonge, Remains of Pagan Saxondom, 1852-55. 
Allen, J. R., Monumental History of the Early British Church, 1889. 
Anecdotes and Manners of a few Ancient and Modern Oddities, 


Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Journal of. 
Associated Architectural Societies' Reports, vol. xii. 
Atkinson, John C., A Glossary of the Cleveland Dialect, 1876; 

Forty Years in a Moorland Parish, 1891. 
Bateman, Thomas, Ten Years' Diggings, 1861. 
Bawdwen, Rev. W., Domesday Book, 1809. 
Belcher, Henry, The Pickering and Whitby Railway, 1836. 
Blakeborough, Richard, Wit, Character, etc., of the North Riding 

of Yorkshire, 1898. 
Brooke, John C., Illustration of a Saxon Inscription at Kirkdale, 


Brown, Gerard Baldwin, The Arts in Early Britain, 1903. 
Browne, G. F., Bishop of Bristol, Theodore and Wilfrith, 1897; 

The Conversion of the Heptarchy, 1896. 
Buckland, Wm., Dean of Westminster, Account of Fossil Bones at 

Kirkdale, 1822. 

Chaucer, Geoffrey, Canterbury Tales, 1902. 
Cholmley, Sir Hugh, Bart., Memoirs of, 1787. 
Clark, George Thos., Mediaeval Military Architecture in England, 


Codrington, Thos., C.E., Roman Roads in Britain, 1903. 
Collection of above 300 Receipts in Cookery, Physick, and Surgery, 


Corlass, R. W., Yorkshire Rhymes and Sayings, 1878. 
Croll, James, Climate and Time in their Geological Relations, 


Dawkins, Boyd, Early Man in Britain. 

Books of Reference 289 

Domesday Book, Facsimile of the Survey by Col. Sir H. James, 


Drake, Francis, Eboracum, 1736. 
Eastmead, William, Historia Rievallensis, 1824. 
England, Annals of, 1876. 
Fawcett, Rev. Joshua, Church Rides in the Neighbourhood of 

Scarborough, 1848. 

Frank, George, Ryedale, North Yorkshire Antiquities, 1888. 
Fuller, Thomas, The History of the Worthies of England, 1840. 
Gidley, Lewis, Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English Church, 

Giles, J. A., Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English Church, 


Gould, S. Baring, Yorkshire Oddities, 1874. 
Hailstone, Edward the Elder, Portraits of Yorkshire Worthies, 

Hatton, W. H., and Fox, W. E., The Churches of Yorkshire, 

Hendertoo, William, Notes on the Folklore of the North Counties, 


Hinderwell, Thomas, History of Scarborough, 1798. 
Holinshed, Raphael, Chronicles of England, 1807-8. 
Jackson, R. E. Scoresby, The Life of William Scoresby, 1 86 1. 
Jewitt, Llewellyn, The Ceramic Art in Early Britain, 1883 j Grave 

Mounds and their Contents, 1870. 
Leland, John, The Itinerary of. 

Marshall, William, The Rural Economy of Yorkshire, 1788. 
Morris, Joseph E., The North Riding of Yorkshire, 1904. 
Morris, M. C. F., Yorkshire Folk Talk, 1892. 
Murray's Handbook for Yorkshire, 1904. 

North Riding Records, 1894 and after. Edited by R. B. Turton. 
Park, G. R., The Parliamentary Representation of Yorkshire, 


Parkinson, Rev. Thos., Yorkshire Legends and Traditions, 1 888. 
Roy, Major-General Wm., The Military Antiquities of the Romans 

in Britain, 1793. 

Scoresby, Wm., the Elder, Memorials of the Sea, 1851. 
Smith, William, Old Yorkshire, 1881. 

Stow, John, A Summarie of Englyshe Chronicles, etc., 1565 

290 Books of Reference 

Strangways, C. E. Fox, Geology of Oolitic and Liassic Rocks 
North of Malton, 1881 ; Geology of Country between Whitby 
and Scarborough, 1846; The Jurassic Rocks of Britain, 1846. 

Tacitus, P. C., The Works of, Oxford Translation, 1848. 

Windle, B. C. A., Remains of the pre-Historic Age in England, 
1904; Life in Early Britain, 1897. 

Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Association, Record 
Series, 1 894 and after. 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, Vol. V., 1879. 

Young, George, A History of Whitby, 1817. 




THE living itself, at the time of the Norman 
Conquest, came into the possession of the 
Crown, and remained at the king's gift till 
Henry I. annexed it to the Deanery of York. It 
thus became one of the Dean's peculiars, until in the 
last century his property was vested in the Ecclesiastical 
Commissioners, and the patronage transferred to the 

1150 Hugh 

13 ? Midelton, Thos de. Resigned for the 

Church of Scalton 

1341 Acaster, Hen de. Dismissed 

*349 Queldriks, Robert de 

Pokelington, Robert de. Resigned for 

the Church at Holtby 
1388 Laytingby, Will de 

1568-1570 Coleman, William 
1581-1600 Owrome, William 
1602-1615 Mylls or Milnes, Edward. Deprived 


1615-1659 Bright, Edward. Died 1659 

T * 291 

292 Appendix 

1661-1690 Staveley, Robert. Died 1690 

1691-1712 Newton, Joshua, A.M. Died 1712 

1713-1740 Hargreaves, Robert. Died 1740 

1740 Hill, Samuel 

1745 Dodsworth, George 

1764-1784 Harding, Samuel. (Blind.) Died 1784 

1784-1786 Robinson, John 

1786-1804 Harding, Samuel J. Died 1804 

1804-1809 Laye, W. T. Died 1809 

1809-1814 Graham, C. R. 

1814-1857 Ponsonby, F. 

1858-1863 Cockburn, G. A., M.A. 

1863-1875 Bennett, Edward (Curate-in-charge) 

1875-1881 Lightfoot, G. H. (Curate-in-charge) 

1881-1902 (Vicar) 

1902 Drage, E. W. 

"Here taketh the Make re of this Book his Leve." 

" Now preye I to hem alle that herkne this lit el 
tretys or rede, that . . . if ther be any thyng 
that displese hem, I preye hem also that they arrette 
it to the defaute of myn unkonnynge, and not to my 
wyl, that wolde ful fayn have seyd bettre if I 
hadde had konnynge. " 

Chaucer' f Canterbury Ta/et. 



Aislaby, 72, 92, 271 
Aldwin, King, 73 
Allerston, 71, 92 
Arran, Lord, 182 
Aryans, Celtic, 45 
Appleton-le-Moor, 47, 71 
Appleton on the Street, 6 i 
Augustine, 72 
Ayton, 71, 93 


Barrows, 33, 45 

Barton on the Street, 61 

Barugh, 61, 72, 92 

Bateman, Thos., 30, 5 i 

Bawdwen, 91 

Beacon Hill, 45 

Bear, Kirkdale, i 5 

Bear-baiting, 224 

Bede, the Yen., 66, 73, 74, 77 

Belcher, Henry, 265 

Bibo House, 63 

Bickhole, 202 

Bigod, Hugh le, 105 

Black Hole, 275, 279 

Blakenborough, R., 167 

Blakey, Topping, 267 

Blansby, 72, 189 

Bos primi-genius, Kirkdale, 15 

Brawby, 92, 284 

Bride Stones, 52, 267 

Bridlington, Prior of, 1 10 

Briefs collected, 170 
Brigantcs, 5^, 64, 65 
Brignall, Edward, 247 
Brompton, 71, 92, 100, 141, 


Bronze Age, n, 47 
Brooke, J. C., 79 
Brooke, Lady, 161, 273 
Browne, Bishop, 82 
Bruce, King Robert, 107 
Bruce, Sir William, 130 
Bruces, tombs of, i 50 
Buckingham, Duke of, 274 
Buckland, Dr Wm., 14 
Bull-baiting, 221 
Butter wick, 284 


Caley, Rev. Reginald, 85 
Calvert, 197, 199, 211, 214, 229 
Carter, the Rev., 221 
Castello, John, 246 
Cauldron Mill, 277 
Cawthorne, 46, 51, 54, 57, 58, 61, 

62, 92 

Cedd, Bishop, 74 
Celtic Aryans, 41, 45 
Chandler, Thomas, 194 
Chaucer, 195, 206 
Cholmley, Sir Hugh, 175, 2*8 
Cholmley, Sir Richard, 138, 148, 

149, 278 
Cholmley, Sir Roger, 147 



Christmas Waits, 259 

Chronicles, Early English, 49, 50 

Civil War, 8 

Clark, G. T., 94 

Cleveland Dyke, 25 

Close Rolls, 1 20 

Coaches, stage, 245 

Cock-fighting, 221 

Comber, Dr Thornton, 25 

Constable, J. G., 159 

Costa Beck, 37 

Coucher Book, 108, 117 

Coxwold, 20 

Croll, James, 19 

Cropton, 46, 51, 62, 71, 92, 113, 


Crouchback Edmund, 104 
Customs, old surviving, 250 

D'AcRE, William, Lord, 104 

Dade, Rev. William, 79 

Dalby, 72, 92, 93, 279 

Dandy Horse, 229 

Dawkins, Professor Boyd, 17, 41 

Dealgin Ross, 57 

Delgovicia, 54 

Dennis, William, 219 

Derwent, 20 

Domesday Book, 90, 93 

Drainage, 256 

Drake, Francis, 57, 58, 59, 61 

Dreyfus, Alfred, 4 

Driffield, Little, 89 

Duchy Court, 252 

Duchy of Lancaster records, 1 2 1 

Duncombe, Captain Cecil, 41 

Dunsley, 60 

EBBERSTON, 31, 71, 88 
Ebberston, Hugh, Vicar of, 113 
Edstone, Great, 71, 93, 101, 262 

Edstone, Little, 93 

Edward I., 103 

Edwin, Earl, 81 

Edwin, King, 74 

Egton, 46 

Egton Moor, 25 

Elephant, Kirkdale, 15 

Eller Beck, 24 

Ellerburne, 85, 87, 92, 98, 269, 


Elves, water, 208 
Enclosures Acts, 266 
Eskdale, 26 
Exton, Sir Piers, 10 

FALLOW, T. M., 155 

Farmanby, 72 

Farmanby, the Lady Beatrice of, 

JI 3 

Felton, Sir Roger de, 105 
Fen Bogs, 25 
Flotmanby, 27, 72 
Folklore, 195, 260 
Foulbridge, 1 1 1 
Fox-hunting, 221 
Fox-Strangways, C. E., 20 

GALLOW Hill, 241 
Gamal, 81 
Ganton, 46 
George I., 192 
Gilling, 20 
Glacial geology, 24 
Glascowollehouse, 106 
Goathland, 72, 113, 270 
Goldsmith, 272 
Grabham Oxley, 285 
Grain Beck, 60 
Granwell, Canon, 30, 34 

HABTON, Great, 71, 92, 248, 262, 




Haigh, Rev. Daniel H., 82, 85 

Hardyng, John, 106 

Harold II., 8 1 

Hastings, Edmund do, 113 

Hastings, Sir Roger, 138 

Helmsley, 94, 270 

Henrietta, ship, 230 

Henry I., 104, 117 

Henry III., 105 

Henry VIII., 8 

High Sheriffs, 104 

Highwaymen, 194 

Hill, Arthur, 124 

Hinderwell, Thomas, 88, 93, 175 

Hippopotamus, Kirkdale, 15 

Hob-men, 207 

Hodge Beck, 274 

Holinshed, Raphel, 49 

Horcum, Hole of, 267 

Horse, Kirkdale, 15 

Horses, Cleveland Bays, 287 

Hospital of St John, Prior of, 1 1 1 

Hospital, St Nicholas, 134 

Hotham, Sir Charles, 89 

Hunmanby, 72 

Hunt, William, 105 

Hutchinson, Thomas, 240 

Hutton Buscel, 27, 46, 71, 93, 281, 

Hyaenas, 13, 14, 15, 16 

ICE Age, 4 

Ice Age, the Lesser, 18 
Ilfrid's Hole, 88 
Independent* at Pickering, 247 
Irton, 71 

JACKSON, John, R.A., 237 
James, J. Grant, 257 
John, King, 104 
Julian Park, 60 

KELD Head, 37 

Kelvington, John de, 120 

Kendall, Professor P. F., 19, 20 

Kendall, Thomas, 46, 63 

Kettlethorp, 92 

Killerby, 72 

Kimmeridge Clay, 38 

Kingthorpe, 72, 189 

Kipling, Rev. Joseph, 246 

Kipling, Rudyard, 246 

Kirby Misperton, 71, 87, 93, 262, 

Kirby Moorside, 87, 92, 93, 161, 

180, 181, 183, 190, 272, 274 
Kirkdale, 85, 92 
Kirkdale Cave, 12, 14 
Kirkdale Church, 79, 85 
Kirkham Abbey, 23, 26 

LAKE dwellings, 37, 42 
Lancaster, Duchy of, records, 143 
Lastingham, 71, 74, 77, 82, 87, 92, 

98, 201, 203, 208, 237, 262, 271, 


Lease Rigg, 60 
Leland, John, 8, 95, 150 
Levisham, 71, 86, 87, 109, 114, 

262, 266, 268 
Lightfoot, Rev. G. H., 125 
Lockton, 87, 92, 106, 262, 269 
Lothan, 81 
Lowmoors, 92 
Loy, Mr, 230 

MALMSBURY, Wm. of, 90 

Malton, 20, 27, 54, 57, 61-64 

Marishes, the, 23 

Marshall, William, 228, 239 

Marton, 71 

Mauley Cross, 57, 60 

Maypole, 272 


Meaux, Sir John de, 114 

Melsa, Sir John de, 108 

Meynell, Nicholas de, 106 

Middleton, 71, 85, 97, 270, 271 

Militia, 243 

Mitchelson, J. M., 37, 46, 62, 63 

Monmouth, John de, 112 

Morcar, Earl, 81 

Mulgrave, Lord, 238 

Mylls, Rev. Edward, 155, 162 


Neolithic men, u, 29, 30, 33, 38, 


Newbury Priory, 273 
Newsam-Bridge, 61 
Newton, 62, 189, 270, 277 
Newton Dale, 24, 25, 26, 71, 265-67 
Normanby, 72, 92, 284 

Osbaldes'on, Bishop, 283 
Osgodby, 72 

PICKERING beacon, i 59 

Pickering Beck, 267 

Pickering Castle, 7, 94, 95, 108, 1 17, 

120, 136, 150, 171-75 
Pickering Church, 7,8,117,125-135, 

164, 165-170, 186-189, 193, 

245, 247 

Pickering, Jacobus de, 104 
Pickering Lake, 13 
Pickering Mercury, 261 
Pickering Registers, 154-162 
Pickering, Sir James de, 104 
Pickering, Sir Richard de, 104 
Pickering Visitation Book, 162 
Pickeringa, 90 
Pigeon, Kirkdale, 15 
Piper, Nicholas, 229 

RABBIT, Kirkdale, 15 
Raven, Kirkdale, 15 
Rawcliff, 62 
Reid, C. H., 41 
Rennes, 4 

Rhinoceras, Kirkdale, 15 
Richard III., 7, 94, 108 
Richmond, Earl of, 105 
Rievault Abbey, 107, 109 
Rillington, 71 
Riseborough, 25, 61, 71 
Robinson, Thomas, 58 
Roman camps, 60, 62, 278 
Roman road, 57, 59, 267 
Rosedale Abbey, 262, 271 
Roxby, 72, 149, 150, 176, 278 
Roy, Major-Gen. William, 57, 63 
Ruddock, James, 30 
Ruston, 71 
Ryton, 71, 92 


Saltersgate Inn, 266 

Salton, 71, 95, 284 

Sawdon, 71 

Scamridge Dykes, 30, 32 

Scawton, 87 

Scoby, 72 

Scoresby, 72 

Scoresby, Captain, 235 

Scoresby, Dr, 237 

Scott, Sir Gilbert, 258 

Seamer Moor, 194 

Seven, river, 271 

Sharp, Archbishop, 168, 186 

Sidonius Apollinaris, 67 

Sinnington, 64, 71, 87, 93, 190, 

191, 226, 228, 269, 271, 272 
Sleight's Moor, 25 
Slingeby, 46, 190, 191 
Small, John, 253 



Snainton, 71, 100, 280 
Spaunton, 47, 92, 106 
Spinning and weaving, 34 
Sports, old, 221 
Squirrel-hunting, 221 
Stamford Bridge, 82 
Stang-riding, 257 
Stape, 57, 60, 270 
Stone Age, 12, 37 
Stow, John, 3, 48 
Stuart, Brian Sandford, 136 
Stuteville, Robert de, 94 
Sundials, Saxon, 79, 81 
Superstitions, 1 1 

THORNTON, 71, 92, 149, 178, 278, 


Thornton-Risebrow, 61, Dr, 34 
Tiger, Kirkdale, 15 
TopclifTe, John, 107 
Tosti, Earl, 81 
Troutsdale, 32, 92 
Turcock, Robertus, 103 
Turnbull, Will., 255 
Turton, R. B., 139, 172 

URNS, 46 

VICTORIA, Queen, 254 
Villiers, George, 179 
Vivers Hill, 93 
Vivers Mill, 63 

WADE'S Causeway, 57, 267 
Waller, J. G., 125 

Wall-paintings, 8, 125-29 

Water-rat, Kirkdale, 15 

Welburn, 92 

Wesley, John, 271 

Wesleyans at Pickering, 247 

Westmoreland, Earl of, 148 

Whitby, 57, 64 

Wheeldale, 60 

Whitby and Pickering Railway, 254, 


Whitby, the Abbot of, 113 
Whitby, William, Abbot of, 93 
Whitehead, J. D., 252 
Whorlton Castle, 106 
Wigan, David de, 118 
Willerby, 72 
William I., 3, 82, 90 
Wilton, 71 
Windle, Professor, 51 
Witchcraft, 196 
Woden, 73 
Wolf, Kirkdale, 15 
Wordsworth, Wm., 241, 242 
Wrelton, 71, 92, 265, 271 
Wykeham, 87, 280 
Wykeham Abbey, 27 
Wykeham, the Prioress of, 114 

Yedingham, Prioress of, in 
York, 6 1 

York, Deane of, 153 
York, Vale of, 23 
Young, Dr, 58, 63 






Home, Gordon Cochrane 

The evolution of an 
English town